Wednesday 16 October 2019

Labour to back cuts for public workers on higher pay

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

LABOUR TDs are set to back the legislation to cut pay for higher earning public-sector workers – as part of the revised Croke Park II deal.

There is relief in the party that the negotiations led by Labour Relations Commission chief executive Kieran Mulvey have produced agreements with most public-sector workers.

Having faced the prospect of imposing across-the-board pay cuts on public-sector workers, Labour TDs will now only have to vote for pay cuts for those earning over €65,000.

The Dail is due to sit for an extra day next week to ensure that the legislation is passed through all stages quickly.

A government source said the legislation would contain sections to implement the pay cuts on higher earners – but also sections to implement further measures on workers in public sector unions who did not sign up to the revised deal.

One Labour TD said party backbenchers would not have any problem with voting to reduce pay for those earning over €65,000.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin told Labour TDs that the deal agreed would deliver the €300m required in savings.

Labour TDs were irritated with criticism of the Croke Park negotiations over the weekend by a group of Fine Gael backbenchers led by Dublin South East TD Eoghan Murphy, who warned that it might not deliver the required savings.

One Labour TD said that the deal was not just about pay cuts, and that the real savings would come from longer working hours and more productivity.

Labour Dublin North TD Brendan Ryan said while unions had yet to ballot members, there were "positive noises" from those who were opposed to the original deal.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has confirmed legislation to impose public sector pay cuts will be published in the Dail today.

SIPTU's national executive is due to meet today to make a recommendation on the revised Croke Park II deal to its members.

Irish Independent

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