A UNION leader representing 10,000 lower-paid education staff has hit out at teachers and other higher-paid individuals pushing for a No vote on the new Croke Park deal.
Chairwoman of IMPACT's Education Division, Gina O'Brien, called on education workers to accept the deal as it offered protection from pay cuts to the lower paid.
She said it was "galling" when it was claimed administrative staff faced pay cuts, as no cuts were proposed to core pay for staff on less than €65,000 a year.
"It annoys me that some of those opposed to the deal – generally people who are far higher paid and better protected than special needs assistants, school secretaries, and young workers struggling with mortgages and childcare costs – call on our members to vote against the vital protections in this agreement," said Ms O'Brien, whose union has urged members to back the deal.
"It is dishonest and irresponsible to sow fear and confusion among ordinary workers – especially lower-paid staff with big housing and childcare costs, who have no access to overtime or premium payments to make up the difference if the deal is rejected and the Government imposes another pay cut," she told delegates.