There was a threefold increase in days lost to industrial disputes in 2014 compared to the previous year, according the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

In 2013, 14,965 days were lost, resulting from 12 industrial disputes.

However, last year, the number of days lost soared to 44,015 arising from 11 disputes.

Just over half of the days lost in 2014 resulted from two disputes in the education sector, accounting for 23,770 or 54% of the total days lost. 

The 12 disputes in 2013 involved 11,924 workers at 12 firms. 

The 11 disputes in 2014 involved 31,665 employees working for 11 employers - including the Department of Education in the case of the teachers' row over Junior Certificate reform.

There were three disputes in progress in the fourth quarter of 2014 involving 27,092 workers and three employers.

One industrial dispute began in the fourth quarter of 2014 and two disputes carried over from the third quarter.  
  
The one-day teachers' dispute in the fourth quarter involved 27,000 workers and it accounted for a total of 23,500 days lost. 

The statistics cover disputes involving a work stoppage lasting at least one day and total time lost is ten or more employee working days.