independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Lower-paid civil servants will ballot for industrial action over pay cuts

LOWER paid civil servants have unanimously voted to ballot for industrial action if the Government proceeds with its proposed cuts.

The CPSU passed an emergency motion calling for a ballot for industrial action up to and including full strike action if the Government move to introduce pay cuts or changes in terms and conditions through legislation or any form of other unilateral action.

The motion adds that it will oppose any  attempt to "tweak" the failed LRC proposals.

It also welcomes the move to establish a Unions for No Vote Alliance with the INMO, IMO and UNITE in a combined effort to reject the proposed agreement which it described as "anti-worker, anti-women, anti-family and anti public service".

The motion was supported by Eoin Ronayne, General Secretary of the CPSU, who warned that if the cuts are implemented they will not be the last.

"They will come again and they will come again, because as I said some people are hard of hearing and they don't get the message," he added.

Mr Ronayne said the CPSU would now engage in further discussions with other unions opposed to the Croke Park II proposals in order to build on the unity that is there.

"The battle has only started," he told delegates.

The General Secretary said they would be looking for further meeting with the unions to ensure the CPSU is not "wrong sided by others who would seek to get a couple of thousand to change their vote to cobble a deal together".

"Buying off interest group s is no way to solve problems," he added.

A number of delegates had earlier called for the motion to be passed.

Maeve McGettigan of the Letterkenny branch warned that while 1913 is remembered for the Lock Out, 2013 will go down as the Walk Out.

"Enda, we have nothing left to give, and that means we have nothing left to lose," she added.

Terry O'Donnell who striked for 13 weeks with Eircom also called for the motion to be passed.

"If you don't stand up now you'll lose what you have," he said.

Earlier delegates got to their feet and applauded loudly when Mr Ronayne, General Secretary of the CPSU told the conference that they would stand up not only to the Government but to the ICTU.

"How often have we voted No to protect low paid workers only to have our vote overturned at the ICTU, well colleagues this time all has changed," he said adding that the rejection of Croke Park II was a "huge message for change to the ICTU and Government".

He told the delegates that the Croke Park II talks had wanted "the kitchen sink and the copper pipes".

"We left the Lansdowne House talks because we were of the view that the proposed deal was outside the mandate given by our Executive, I could not in honesty stand over what was being proposed and I was certain in my mind that I did not have the authority to agree to put that set of proposals before our members in a ballot," he said.

Praising the members for voting No to the proposals, Mr Ronayne added; "Let met say clearly at this ADC, we walked out some weeks ago to protect our members interests and if needs be we will do it again."

Mr Ronayne caused laughter among delegates when he said he was happy to meet with Kieran Mulvey of the Labour Relations Commission to outline the unions problems with Croke Park II.

"Colleauges I am happy to do that, indeed I welcome the opportunity again to set out our views because clearly the Government seems hard of hearing," he added.

Mr Roynane ended his speech by chanting 'Out' to Radical changes to redeployment, changes to flextime, changes to hours of attendance, banked hours, cuts in pay and increments and the entire Croke Park II.

“Colleagues what part of Out does the Government not understand?," he questioned.

Calling on delegates not to become complacent, Mr Ronayne warned it was facing into "very uncertain times".

He urged the CPSU to build on its alliance with the other unions.

Derek Mullen, Deputy General Secretary said the union would not accept any "tweaking" of the proposals insisting it was a bad deal for the union and a bad deal for the country.

Criticising outsourcing of roles, Mr Mullen said the union would "fight outsourcing in every way that it can".

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