Kenny denies divide and rule plan
Published 05/03/2013 | 18:46
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has rejected claims the Government has tried to divide and conquer trade unions over the new public sector pay deal.
He insisted proposals to cut the state's pay bill by one billion euro was fair across the board and denied that unions that exited talks early were being punished.
"It is quite clear that the unions that did stay there did make an impact on the terms of the adjustments," Mr Kenny said.
"But ministers have made it perfectly clear that provisions in the agreement will apply to everybody."
Opposition to the deal intensified with Unite announcing plans to recommend its members vote against a deal to the extension of the Croke Park agreement.
Nearly a dozen unions and associations have already refused support for the deal, which will see cuts to salaries of more than 65,000 euro, frozen increments and longer working hours with no extra pay.
The Civil and Public Service Union (CPSU), the largest union in the government sector, the Teachers' Union of Ireland and the Irish Federation of University Teachers were the latest to voice opposition to the agreement last week.
Proposals to cut the public sector wage bill - which accounts for 35% of total public spending - were outlined by the Labour Relations Commission last Tuesday.
Mr Kenny said it was important unions now have time to reflect on the proposals before their members vote on whether to accept the deal.
It is expected to go to the ballot in the next month.