TALKS ON A successor to the Croke Park Agreement on public sector pay and reform are due to resume today as frontline emergency workers will rally in Dublin this evening.
The talks are aimed at extending the agreement between government and the public sector with ministers looking for an additional €1 billion in savings from the public sector over the next three years including €300 million this year.
The government has set a deadline of the end of February to reach an agreement with Taoiseach Enda Kenny warning that it will legislate for pay cuts if an agreement is not reached.
Among measures being targeted are reductions in salaries for the higher paid and reductions in the amounts paid in overtime, weekend and evening premiums and putting in place longer working hours for no extra pay.
Unions have accused the government of disproportionately targeting frontline workers with the 24/7 Frontline Alliance of nurses, firefighters, paramedics, prison officers and gardaí to rally in Tallaght tonight to oppose further cuts to their earnings.
Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Liam Doran, from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, said that the government’s proposals as currently constituted are “solely focussed” on low and middle income workers.
He said that managemnet has a “total bias, a total objective” of hitting payments for overtime and weekend working and agreed that it was realistic that those working between 6pm and 8pm should get an extra payment for this.
Despite this Doran said that INMO meets today and expects to remain in the talks.
Already, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) and the Garda Representative Association (GRA) have pulled out of the discussions.
The GRA’s president John Parker has said that gardaí plan to “turn off the goodwill tap” from this Friday but it is set to meet with Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan this Wednesday.