Public sector pay proposals: modest advances long overdue as workers wait 12 years for restoration

unite-white-out-of-redUnite to consult with members in advance of balloting

June 9th: Trade union Unite said today that the ‘modest advances’ made during negotiations for a successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement were long overdue given that, by the end of the proposed agreement, workers will have waited 12 years to have their pay restored.

Commenting, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:

“Unions fought hard and achieved some modest advances while also protecting gains made in previous agreements such as the outsourcing protections.  It is especially welcome that the pay of lower earners will not only be restored by the end of the agreement, but will also be slightly increased over pre-cuts levels.

“It should be remembered, however, that although by the end of this proposed agreement in 2020, most workers will have exited FEMPI and the pension levy, they will have had to wait twelve years for that restoration – and they may find themselves paying increased pension contributions while pension benefits remain unchanged.

“The modest advances made are also counterbalanced by the failure, for example, to achieve movement on the ‘Croke Park hours’.  Although unions secured agreement that members will be able to avail of two ‘windows’ in which they can revert back to their previous hours of working, the proposals provide for pay to be reduced commensurately.  This reinforces Unite’s clear view that the Croke Park hours were a cost-saving measure rather than a productivity measure.

Unite Regional Co-Ordinating Officer Richie Browne added:

“Unite will be consulting with our members over the coming weeks before putting these proposals to a ballot.

“Although Unite members rejected the Lansdowne Road Agreement in 2015, our members agreed to be bound by the result of the aggregate ICTU vote.

“There is no guarantee that our members will agree to be bound by an aggregate ballot on this occasion”, Mr Browne pointed out.

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