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Croke park 2 talks
#41
Varadkar: No special pay deals for unions who walked out of talks
By Gavan Reilly Share216 Tweet27 Email9
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
9 hours ago 8,086 Views 68 Comments
TRADE UNIONS who left the talks on a possible successor agreement to the Croke Park Deal will not be granted a ‘side’ deal to protect certain conditions within their industry, a cabinet minister has said.

Leo Varadkar told RTÉ’s This Week programme that unions who had left the talks had left their members “high and dry”.

While there would not be “cruel and unusual punishment” for unions like the INMO, which left the talks the evening before a final deal was reached, there was “no way they can get special concessions,” he said.

The transport minister was responding to reports of ‘side deals’ struck by prison officers and firefighters, who have been told they can keep higher premia for working anti-social hours if they instead take cuts to overtime rates.

“The difference between teachers and nurses,” Varadkar said, was that “teachers stayed in the talks and achieved equalisation” in the pay rates afforded to newer entrants to the profession.

This was a reference to a deal which will see teachers who entered the profession from 2011 onward put on a slightly higher pay scale. New teachers after that point are not covered by the original Croke Park deal, and work on salaries which are proportionally much lower than their older colleagues.

A similar gulf has emerged in nurses pay, but the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation walked out of the talks – leaving members “high and dry,” he said.

Varadkar made a similar comparison between the Garda Representative Association – which was never a full part of the talks, but which stopped attending them in early February – and the unions representing prison officers and Defence Forces members.

When it was pointed out that some nurses are members of SIPTU, which did not leave the talks, Varadkar would not be drawn on whether staff from some unions could be given better terms of employment than staff in the same industry.

Varadkar affirmed that the proposals were the last time that public servants would be asked to make a contribution to closing the budget deficit.

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#42
This has to be the most pathetic shite going. The government accuse the rep bodies of taking back their ball. When the rep bodies state that they where not allowed be involved, something I might add which has not been denied by government.
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.

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#43
SIPTU defers decision on Croke Park proposals

Updated: Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013 19:07

SIPTU President Jack O’Connor has described the Croke Park proposals as the most controversial proposition that trade unions have ever had to consider.

He was speaking after a meeting of the National Executive Council, which deferred a decision on whether to recommend the proposals to members until 14 March.

Mr O'Connor declined to give a personal view on the deal ahead of that decision.
However, he said he was quite clear in his mind that it is the best proposal that can be obtained through negotiation.

He also said any disagreement of decision among workers and trade unions upset and concerned him.

Mr O’Connor said they could not afford the luxury of it in the present precarious environment where working people stood to lose a lot.

Meanwhile, the Unite trade union has decided to recommend rejection of the Croke Park extension proposals.

The deal is aimed at cutting an additional €1bn from the State payroll bill over the next three years.
The union executive met this morning to consider the impact of the proposals on its 6,500 members working in the public service.

Unite Regional Coordination Officer Walter Cullen said the executive board unanimously rejected the proposals.

He said: "We just don't see it delivering anything like the Government is talking about as in terms of the impact on the Exchequer and the deficit.
"All it will do is impose more misery on our members within the public service and we're just not having any of it."

Mr Cullen earlier said he did not understand how anyone could argue that the Croke Park proposals were the best deal available.

He asked why workers would want to vote for a deal that the Government was threatening to shove down their throats afterwards.

Mr Cullen described the Government’s pre-conditions on the talks as outrageous.
He said Unite would decide its next step based on the outcome of ballots.
Mr Cullen said it did not automatically mean that everyone has to go on strike the day after it was rejected.

Unite was one of several unions that walked out of the Croke Park talks before they were completed.
Yesterday, Government sources ruled out any prospect of revisiting or renegotiating the Croke Park proposals.

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#44
Has any union recommended acceptance?
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#45
IMPACT did.
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#46
Irish Medical Organisation has called for a rejection of the Croke Park Agreement, "based on risks these proposal pose to patient safety and care", http://www.rtenews.ie Quote take from RTE's Morning Edition New Report.
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#47
With the unions recommending rejection it looks to me that this deal won't get passed even if all the other unions vote yes.
On another note IFESA, on their facebook page, are claiming to have the majority of fulltime FF's on their books. Anybody know how accurate this information is?
willcork, joined Emergency Services Forum in Feb 2010.
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#48
If we let Croke park 2 pass there will be a 3 and 4 make no mistake. This is the saddle and the whip they will put on our back.
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.

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#49
(07-03-2013, 11:21 AM)willcork Wrote: With the unions recommending rejection it looks to me that this deal won't get passed even if all the other unions vote yes.
On another note IFESA, on their facebook page, are claiming to have the majority of fulltime FF's on their books. Anybody know how accurate this information is?


I'd say now it's about as accurate and truthful as most of his statements....
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#50
pogan,proud to be a member of ESF since Jul 2010
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#51
Was another mic left open during that first speech, you can hear someone commenting in the background. When Shatter says that the GRA did not take part you can hear someone say "that is not the case"
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#52
If there is no renegoagation then why would anyone want to talk with the Minister?

I wonder again why can negoagation not be entered back into, just because some spineless unions with no mandate from their members to negoagate a new deal when an existing one (a failed one but existing none the less that's made saving) still exists?

When I say no mandate, I may be miss informed but as a Union member at no time was I asked if I wanted my union to negoagate anything on my behalf and at no time was I told what was being negoagated on my behalf.
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#53
ANNE-MARIE WALSH INDUSTRY CORRESPONDENT – 09 MARCH 2013

THE largest public sector union has warned members that sustained industrial action is their only option if the Government imposes pay cuts.

IMPACT also told its 63,500 members it could not launch a successful legal challenge if their wages were slashed.

In a message explaining why they should vote 'yes' to the new Croke Park deal, the union said the Government could force deeper pay cuts on more staff if they did not back it.

In contrast, it said the chief union negotiators had managed to ensure that 87pc of them would not suffer wage reductions.

Those earning over €65,000 a year face pay cuts of 5.5pc and above.

The union said the agreement is "the most challenging proposition put to public servants in living memory" but the best package that could be achieved.

This was because it was not possible to make the Government's determination to reduce the pay bill by €1bn over three years "go away".

"If the proposals are rejected, IMPACT believes it would not be possible to achieve a better negotiated outcome," it said.

"Equally, the union has said that any attempt to impose cuts and changes to working conditions without agreement would be a breach of the existing Croke Park agreement. The union believes that any effective resistance to this would require sustained industrial action."

It said the issue was whether IMPACT members believed it was possible to achieve a better deal if the current one was rejected.

"In our judgment, it isn't," the union said, adding that legal advice from the last round of pay cuts in 2010 said their contracts were "as determined or sanctioned by the relevant minister from time to time".

"On this basis, the union does not believe a successful legal challenge can be mounted against imposed pay cuts," it said.

Meanwhile, divisions over the agreement among firefighters have deepened.

Fire station officers in Dublin have been ordered to take down posters by a union opposing the deal.

A memo from Assistant Chief Fire Officer Michael O'Reilly said station notice boards were being used by "non-recognised associations".

He asked station officers to ensure only notices by "recognised unions", and not the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA), were posted on the boards.

Members of IFESA claimed Mr O'Reilly is a member of SIPTU, which stayed at talks and brokered a deal that protects premium pay from cuts.

IFESA is a breakaway group from SIPTU and is opposing this deal on the basis that other frontline workers would still face cuts.

Spokesman Richard Kelly said the group's chairman John Kidd, who was previously barred from the fire stations, was a "modern-day Jim Larkin".

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#54
John Kidd a later day Jim Larkin????
Somehow I doubt, I doubt it very much....
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#55
A No vote seems highly likely, the people will take back some power it seems and put a stop to this sell out by unions.

Column: Croke Park 2 is a watershed moment in the Irish trade union movement
By Kieran Allen

MOST PEOPLE JOIN trade unions to better their wages and working conditions. Few expect to be told to make sacrifices to restore the confidence of financial markets. Yet, this is precisely what the SIPTU and IMPACT union leaderships are doing with Croke Park 2.

The proposal is to take another €1 billion from public sector employees in the next three years. That comes on top of pay cuts that already took 15 per cent their earnings.

There is a sweet irony in all this. Hiking taxes and cutting pay in the midst of a recession dampens spending and prolongs an economic slow-down. The government was warned about this but continued regardless. National debt levels then rose and so they needed more money to ‘plug the hole’. The treadmill of austerity is becoming endless.

The original Croke Park deal was not supposed to expire until 2014. But in an unprecedented move, the government is tearing it up so that it can take more. Promises that there would be no further pay cuts have been thrown aside like old electoral manifestos.

Broken agreements

Unfortunately, this is not the first time an agreement was broken. A commitment to give workers under €35,000 some of the savings earned during Croke Park 1 was ignored. The union leaders complied in silence and this sign of weakness encouraged the government to come back for more.

Croke Park 2 proposes to increase working hours so that the numbers of public servants can be further reduced – many of whom are working below 39 hours will see a significant increase in their working week. Those on 39 or more hours will have to give a one free hour of overtime. A longer working week means extra child care costs. A free hour of overtime means an effective pay cut for poorly paid workers who rely on it to boost earnings.

Longer hours for nurses means a huge reversal in their long, hard-fought campaign to reduce their working week. It is unusual, to say the least, for a union leadership to recommend something like this, but it is incredible to do so as a way of reducing public employment during a recession.

Croke Park 2 also involves significant attacks on earnings. Those who receive over €65,000 – and this includes allowances – will receive a direct cut of 5.5 per cent. Some will lose, through a cut, the Sunday premiums to time and three quarters; others will lose through a reduced overtime rate of time and a quarter; most white collar employees will lose through a three-month or six-month freeze on increments.

‘Be smart and work for less’

More generally, Croke Park 2 imposes a pay freeze until 2016 and, by then, workers will have spent seven years without a pay rise. Inflation is currently running at 2 percent and bills for property taxes are arriving. Later, there will be water charges and a new communications charge. ‘Be smart and work for less’ appears to be the only survival tip.

Croke Park 2 also contains other bizarre points that will bring out the worst in macho managers. Forcible re-deployment up to 45 kilometres – and on occasion, longer – will be possible. Flexi time and work-sharing will be more limited and at a management’s discretion. Performance targets can be laid down for individuals and sackings can follow for those who don’t meet them. Those on the top of their pay scale can be told to give up an extra two days holidays a year.

All of this amount to a serious reversal of rights won by trade unions over decades. This may explain the extraordinary underhanded games of divide and rule which some unions are playing.

Exclusions from the talks

The Irish Times has revealed a confidential letter sent to fire-fighters which suggested that the ‘totality of their pay structure would be protected’. SIPTU claimed they got this because they stayed at the negotiating table but, in reality, it was a desperate move to stem the haemorrhage of members to the breakaway Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association. But it begged the question: if there is a back channel to do deals for some, why are others excluded? Why should paramedics who arrive at the scene of an accident not also have the ‘totality of their pay’ protected?

When union leaders connive at these divisive manoeuvres, it brings into question their wider role. If the CEO of a major firm told shareholders that there would be no dividend payments for seven years and they would have to contribute more, they would be politely but firmly asked to step aside. Why then should union leaders who repeatedly fail to deliver for members stay in office for life?

Many of the top echelons of the Irish union movement are members of the Labour Party. Indeed, it is well known that advancement in unions like SIPTU may be closely co-related to membership of that party. There is a conflict of interests here. One can either serve the Labour Party and its needs in government or one can serve the wider union membership – it is not possible at the moment to do both.

Rejection likely – then what?

Croke Park 2 is a watershed moment in the Irish trade union movement. Not only is rejection increasingly likely but the position of those who tried to sell it is coming under question. Many are already asking how do we change our leaders or our unions. They are finding that their freedom of association is restricted under ICTU anti-poaching rules and that the right of ordinary members to vote on the election of their leaders in unions has been removed.

When Croke Park 2 is rejected, the unions will need to rapidly deal with these democratic deficits – or face a major period of internal turmoil.

Kieran Allen is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in University College Dublin. He is the author of Ireland’s Economic Crash (Dublin: Liffey Press 2009). He is also affiliated with the Socialist Workers Party and People Before Profit. To read more by Kieran Allen for TheJournal.ie click here.

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#56
The country's biggest trade union SIPTU is to recommend that its members accept the revised Croke Park Agreement.

but they didnt....or did they?? i am confused
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#57
This man makes sense, why should my pay be safe but the paramedic and mule standing next to me at an rta take a cut.
It is wrong to the very core and is a blatant divide and conquer strategy. I would also believe there is some truth in the assertion that our 'deal' was indeed contrived to stop an exodus of FF's from siptu.
For me the biggest fear is that in the very near future the govt are going to come gunning for FF's in a major way. I forsee a massive attack on our pay and conditions and unfortunately we will be standing alone because we are outside the 24/7 alliance and were seen to do a 'private deal' on this occasion.
willcork, joined Emergency Services Forum in Feb 2010.
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#58
Prison Officers Assoc is recommending the deal and has pulled out of 24/7 Alliance. Disappointing.

Siptu don't seem convinced that they want to recommend the deal.
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#59
And the tower starts to crumble ...
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#60
(14-03-2013, 10:16 PM)major skidmark Wrote: Prison Officers Assoc is recommending the deal and has pulled out of 24/7 Alliance. Disappointing.

Siptu don't seem convinced that they want to recommend the deal.


Divide and conquer was always going to happen, people will always feather there own nests !
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