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LRC chairman Kieran Mulvey has said talks on a revised public sector pay deal have been positive so far. Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Croke Park 2a

Health unions in new public pay talks as Croke Park cuts are tweaked

The LRC has agreed amendments to the increment freeze for higher earners, while extended working weeks will be delayed.

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE public sector health unions are this evening attending talks at the Labour Relations Commission, to discuss the possibility of amending the rejected Croke Park 2 pay deal.

The Irish Medical Organisation and the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation are attending the talks, which are being led by LRC chairman Kieran Mulvey.

A number of other sectoral unions have already attended talks, which are aimed at securing a deal with public workers on how to reduce the government’s pay bill without requiring unilateral pay cuts.

Some progress was made yesterday, with the terms of the Croke Park 2 deal – which was rejected by a majority of public workers in union ballots last month – being adjusted somewhat.

Plans to delay increments to workers on over €65,000 – which were due to be frozen for three years – have been changed; instead, the second and third increases due after July 1 will each be subject to a six-month delay.

While there will also be pay cuts for staff earning over that amount, their cuts will be restored in two phases – in April 2017 and January 2018. Those earning over €100,000 would not have their pay restored, however.

The proposals to extend the working week to a minimum of 37 hours have remained, but the extension will not take immediate effect in July as previously planned.

Instead the working week would be extended by a maximum of two hours and 15 minutes – the equivalent of 27 minutes a day – from this July. The remaining increases would be deferred for two years.

It is also thought that arrangements with Garda representatives have resulted in agreements to reduce leave entitlements, but maintain some of the premium payments which had previously been slated for abolition.

Read: Howlin: It’s in personal interests of public workers to accept pay cuts

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