The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has met to discuss pay increases for workers in the private sector.

Affiliate unions from sectors such as transport, aviation, construction, pharmaceutical and financial services gave updates on negotiations that are currently under way with individual employers.

In some cases, unions said progress on pay was being achieved through a variety of methods such as lump sum payments and bonuses, not just percentage increases.

In December, ICTU advised that private sector employees should seek pay rises of between 2.5% and 4.5% during 2022.

In February, those figures were revised upwards, due to rising inflation, with unions advised to seek increases in the range of 2.5% and 5.5%.

Meanwhile, ICTU and Government officials held exploratory talks last week on public sector pay.

The meeting was organised after Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath asked his officials to engage with unions after they triggered a review clause in the current public sector agreement, "Building Momentum".

Under the existing deal, public sector workers received a 1% pay increase last year, with a further 1% due in October but ICTU triggered the review clause in light of rising inflation.

Unions and Government officials have agreed to contact the Workplace Relations Commission to facilitate further talks in the coming weeks.

Minister McGrath has said that the pay talks will be difficult discussions against a very challenging backdrop but that he believes there is scope for all parties to engage constructively on a way forward that is fair to both public servants and taxpayers.