Irish government say no further cuts to public pay will be made in austerity moves
Government says the next cuts will be the final
Gardai (police), who refused to use their own cellphones or other personal equipment over 24 hours last weekend while on duty, are likely to consider whether to step up their campaign to wider industrial action.
Chairman of the Public Services Committee of Irish Congress of Trade Unions Shay Cody said the new agreement will run until 2016 if members of the unions accept the deal.
Cody said compulsory redundancies had been part of management’s original proposals, which he described as “fairly simple and crude.”
“They wanted to have the option of compulsory redundancy in certain circumstances. So what we did was first of all, was we said there was no circumstances at all that there could be an agreement that provided for compulsory redundancy,” said Cody.
“It wasn’t necessary; the public service could manage redeployment and in fact has managed that very successfully up to now.
“I think the government got, in financial terms, what they wanted. From our point of view I think we’ve done it in a way that is a lot fairer than the original proposals.
“But the only reason we were in this discussion is that the public finances are still in major deficit, we didn’t get the growth that was going to solve this problem and frankly make this problem go away.”
Labor Party TDs (members of Parliament) are backing the new public sector pay deal, since their party is a minority partner in the government.
But they are bracing themselves for a backlash. Many TDs expect to come under pressure from public sector workers who voted for them at the last general election to ensure there were no further cuts to pay and conditions.
The party is pinning its hopes on a recovery in the economy by the time of the 2016 general election.
Labor chief whip Emmet Stagg said he believed the deal was a good achievement, with no further cuts in the lifetime of this government.
He added, “I think they have arrived at a very balanced and fair deal, spreading the burden across the sectors, and I hope at the end of the three years we can look at negotiations for wage increases.”
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