Tuesday 20 February 2018

SIPTU stalls on Croke Park II talks

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

THE country's largest trade union has postponed its decision on whether to recommend Croke Park II to its members.

The leadership of SIPTU spent seven hours discussing the contents of the deal, but the national executive council failed to reach agreement.

SIPTU general president Jack O'Connor called this week for the Government to reach out to the unions that pulled out of the talks.

But the Government is ruling out any renegotiation of the existing deal.

Given SIPTU's status as one of the biggest public sector unions, the Government will be anxious for it to endorse the agreement – or at least not to call for a rejection.

The extension of the deal is intended to cut another €1bn from the public sector pay bill over the course of the next three years.

The executive of the union will meet again on Thursday week to decide its position. The Unite trade union is recommending that its members working in the public sector reject the Croke Park II deal.

Unite regional co-ordination officer Walter Cullen said workers were being asked to vote for a proposal the Government was threatening to shove down their throats.

Meanwhile, FF leader Micheal Martin said the Coalition was engaged in a "cynical divide-and-conquer strategy" and side deals were being done with unions.

But Taoiseach Kenny said there was nobody being treated unfairly. He said the unions that stayed in the talks had retained the Saturday premium pay and reduced the cut to Sunday premium pay.

"It is clear now they are not being targeted," he said.

Irish Independent

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