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Tuesday 20 February 2018

SIPTU authorises ballots for industrial action on public service pay

SIPTU leader Jack O’Connor Photo: Tony Gavin
SIPTU leader Jack O’Connor Photo: Tony Gavin
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

SIPTU has authorised ballots by union members for industrial action and strike action on public service pay.

The decision comes following a monthly meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) at Liberty Hall, Dublin today.

In a statement released to the media, SIPTU said it has "recommended acceptance of extremely difficult choices in both the industrial and political arena across the private and the public service" since the economic collapse in 2008.

They said they did so to ensure "economic independence" in Ireland and to ensure their members would "hold as much ground as possible".

They wrote that over the past year, SIPTU and other unions have urged the Government to open negotiations on the Lansdowne Road Agreement to "accelerate" pay restoration.

"As of this date the Government has refused to do so," they wrote.

"Meanwhile, it has indicated that it is amenable to the application of preferential terms to individual groups."

They said the rate of economic recovery has now exceeded what was anticipated when it was initially negotiated.

They stated; "Accordingly, we have decided today to authorise each recognised negotiating group of the union’s members in the Public Service to conduct ballots seeking mandates for industrial action and/or strike action in pursuit of better terms.

“Mandates will be activated unless the Government issues an invitation to talks to the Public Services Committee of Congress.  Any such invitation should envisage the commencement of talks not later than 1st February."

Balloting will begin on December 1.

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