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Monday 19 February 2018

SIPTU backs new Croke Park deal in major boost for Government

SIPTU's Jack O Connor
SIPTU's Jack O Connor

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

THE country’s largest union is urging its 63,000 public service members to back the new Croke Park deal.

After two days considered the proposals, SIPTU leaders have issued a recommendation in favour of the agreement to deliver €1bn in payroll cuts over three years.


A spokesman said the union’s National Executive has told members their best option is to keep a centralised collective agreement in place.


“We firmly believe that the best way public service workers can protect their interests is through a single centralised agreement, prohibiting compulsory redundancies, limiting redeployment and restricting outsourcing,” it said.


“Otherwise each group, grade and category, irrespective of how strong they believe themselves to be, is vulnerable to being isolated and attacked in the desperate quest for savings.”


SIPTU’s verdict is crucial to the future of the cost-cutting proposals that have been shot down by large groups of staff, including nurses, gardai and paramedics.


The union, headed up by Jack O'Connor, enjoys the largest share - or 25pc - of the public sector union vote.


IMPACT, which holds another 21pc and the PSEU, with a 4pc share, have also recommended a yes vote.


This means unions holding a 50pc share of the vote are now recommending a ‘yes’ vote.


However, the final decision rests with the country’s 290,000 public servants.


They will decide in the coming weeks whether to back their leaders’ views.


The final verdict on the deal - which will decide if it is ratified - will be revealed on April 17.


SIPTU’s National Executive met all day yesterday to consider the agreement following an initial meeting last week.


The union will begin balloting its members next Tuesday.


Eight unions are opposing the agreement including the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants, the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland and the Civil, Public and Services Union.


UNITE, the Irish Federation of University Teachers, Irish Medical Organisation, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, and Teachers Union of Ireland have also advised their members to vote no.

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