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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 24 July, 2014

Croke Park II rejected as SIPTU, INTO, Unite and INMO vote No

SIPTU, the INMO, the IMO and Unite have all rejected the pay deal today.

Eamon Devoy of the TEEU and SIPTU president Jack O'Connor
Eamon Devoy of the TEEU and SIPTU president Jack O'Connor
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Updated 6.05pm

THE CROKE PARK PAY deal has been rejected this afternoon.

Members of SIPTU rejected the Croke Park deal by 53.7 per cent to 46.3 per cent, despite a recommendation from the union’s leadership that the deal be accepted.

The move makes SIPTU the tenth union to vote against the deal, while five have accepted it.

SIPTU president Jack O’Connor said the vote reflected the sense of grievance among public service workers.

“They feel they are shouldering the lion’s share of the post-crisis adjustment while the wealthy are not contributing anything remotely approaching their capacity to do so,” he said.

We urge the Government not to proceed with legislation to cut the pay of public service workers and it would inevitably precipitate a major confrontation.

Where all the public sector unions currently stand:

Several of the country’s largest unions announced the results of their members’ ballots today.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) recorded the biggest opposition to the deal with 95.5 per cent of members voting against it and just 4.5 per cent voting in favour.

INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said its members had found the Croke Park proposals to be “deeply flawed”.

It is emerging, based on the results from other public service unions, that these proposals do not enjoy sufficient support as a majority of unions look like they are set to reject them.
Against this background it is imperative that, in the first instance, the ICTU adopts a strategy which will maintain a cohesive and collective approach, on this issue.

IMPACT said this afternoon that its members voted by 56 per cent to 44 per cent to accept the extension to the Croke Park deal, with a turnout of 65 per cent.

General secretary of IMPACT Shay Cody warned the government to heed the significance of the tight vote.

“IMPACT recommended this deal to members because we believe it to be the best option available in a very bad situation,” he said.

Unite announced earlier that its 6,000 members had voted by 84 per cent to 16 per cent to reject the pay deal.

“The vote is loud and clear that these proposals are bad for workers, bad for everyone that relies on money being spent and bad for Ireland,” said Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) have also rejected the proposal, with 92 per cent of its members voting against the deal. The turnout was 43 per cent.

The director of industrial relations at the IMO, Steve Tweed, said that the vote “was a very strong endorsement for the strategy of the IMO leadership who had walked out of the talks at the LRC before the proposals were agreed”.

The INTO also rejected the proposals.

Earlier, the Public Service Executive Union (PSEU) which represents executive grades in the civil service announced that its members had voted to accept the deal, with 61 per cent in favour and 39 per cent against. Just under 7,000 union members voted in the ballot.

The Prison Officers’ Association – whose executive had recommended a Yes vote after winning a ‘side deal’ to preserve some premium payments in exchange for extra flexibility – also said its members had approved the deal.

Fallout

A number of unions including Unite, the INMO, the CPSU and the IMO have said they will not be bound by the deal if it goes ahead after their members have rejected it. Speaking today, Jimmy Kelly of Unite said the union would respect the vote by its members.

“We now have to follow through the wishes of our members and will do so by standing against any attempt by Government to railroad imposed cuts through a technical device at the ICTU or legislation that would tear up any basis of trust that exists between worker and employer,” Kelly said.

The Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions will meet tomorrow to discuss the ratification of the deal.

If accepted, the Croke Park 2 deal would run for three years, starting this July, and would seek to save a total of €1 billion through cuts in pay and allowances and increases in working hours.

The Irish Federation of University Teachers, the Civil Public and Services Union and the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants all rejected the deal yesterday.

Read: Seven unions have now rejected Croke Park II proposals >

At a glance: What’s in the proposed public pay deal >

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