Monday 19 February 2018

Finding the balance between pay and jobs

Kieran Mulvey, chief executive of the Labour Relations Relations Commission, thinks that countries like Greece, Italy and Spain would "love" to have an equivalent of Ireland's Croke Park agreement, designed to buy industrial peace at the price of guaranteeing that there will be no cuts in public service pay.

Mr Mulvey is probably this country's leading expert on industrial relations. He has had a lifetime's experience in the field. His views must be treated with respect by those who question the value of the agreement -- including its many critics in the Fine Gael party.

But his own support for the Croke Park deal is not unqualified. He believes that the agreement may have to be "revisited". That may seem a mild comment, but coming from such a source it counts as a strong hint of the need for radical reform and rethinking.

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