Wednesday 21 February 2018

Unions accuse Coalition of scaremongering

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

TWO unions have accused the Government of "scaremongering" by threatening pay cuts and job losses if they reject the new Croke Park deal.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the Civil, Public and Services Union (CPSU), which are urging members to vote against the €1bn cuts, advised them not to take the threats seriously.

In a message to its 40,000 members, the nursing union dismissed claims that the old Croke Park deal, safeguarding their terms and conditions, will no longer exist if the proposed new deal is rejected.

General secretary of the INMO Liam Doran told members that the Government "sought to scaremonger" by saying it would legislate for pay cuts and by saying the protections of the existing agreement would fall. "This is patently false as the existing agreement, if it is not replaced with a new agreement, remains in place until the middle of 2014," he said.

However, this is not the view of the largest union, SIPTU, which is asking members to vote yes or else the existing deal will collapse. Unions are balloting their members on the deal and the final result is due on April 17.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has refused to publish details of over 10 letters outlining standalone deals with unions and clarifications on the cuts.

In response to a parliamentary question by Fianna Fail Public Expenditure spokesman, Sean Fleming, Brendan Howlin said it has "never been the practice to publish such letters of clarification".

Mr Fleming said it was a "disgraceful" response as taxpayers, and public servants who are balloting on the proposals, were entitled to see the full details of the deal.

Irish Independent

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