independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Second union warns of strike if Croke Park II talks collapse

A SECOND trade union has warned that industrial action will be on the cards if it cannot strike a Croke Park II deal with the Government.

UNITE, which has 5,000 public sector members, vowed to oppose the "shopping list" of cuts tabled at talks between unions and the Government this week.

The warning came as management and unions meet again today in a bid to agree €1bn in cuts to the pay bill over three years.

This is on top of €3.3bn in savings already earmarked under the Croke Park deal by 2015.

The largest public sector union, IMPACT, has already threatened to ballot its 63,500 members if cuts are imposed as they were in the past.

"If agreement is not reached we will take whatever industrial steps are necessary to protect public services for all and the interests of our members," said UNITE regional secretary Jimmy Kelly.

Government sources said the parties will try to finalise a schedule for the talks in the coming weeks at today's session in Dublin.

Management is expected to give more detail on proposals already tabled in the various sections of the public sector, including health, education, the civil service and local authorities.

It may also throw more light on its plans to cut increments and allowances, bring in extra working hours and increase the distance public servants can be redeployed.

The talks are due to finish at the end of next month. If a deal is struck, unions will begin balloting ahead of their conference season.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Civil, Public and Services Union Eoin Ronayne has told his 13,000 members that "it is nigh impossible to see how an agreement can be reached".

Irish Independent

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