SIPTU votes to accept public sector pay deal
PUBLIC sector members of SIPTU have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Haddington Road agreement, which plans to slash €300m off the public sector pay bill this year and €1bn by 2015.
The country's biggest union voted almost three to one (74pc) in favour of the deal, dramatically reversing the union's 53pc vote against the previous and harsher Croke Park 2 proposals.
That vote last March was on a very low turnout of just 45pc of the 63,000 public sector members in SIPTU entitled to vote. No turnout figures were available yesterday but it is believed to be higher.
The vote is a huge boost to Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, who wants a negotiated agreement with the unions. But he has warned that those unions that don't sign up will face harsher cuts.
The SIPTU executive recommended acceptance of both agreements but was more definitive in recommending acceptance of the Haddington Road agreement.
Responding to the SIPTU vote yesterday, its vice-president, Patricia King, said: "We now hope that we can move on to implementing the reform process in order to improve the services for those who depend on them while protecting the jobs, terms and conditions of those who provide them."
Earlier this week, the national teachers' union the INTO backed the Haddington Road agreement also reversing its previous decision to reject Croke Park 2.
The nurses' union, the INMO, is expected to release the result of its ballot today. The union voted by over 90pc against Croke Park 2 but its executive recommended acceptance of the Haddington Road deal.