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Croke Park talks continue despite earlier warnings of breakdown

The INMO had warned members on Monday that there was a high chance of the talks breaking down.

THE CROKE PARK extension talks continue, despite a warning from the INMO to its members on Monday that there was a risk of them breaking down.

In a letter to its members on Monday, the INMO’s General Secretary, Liam Doran, called the initial agenda tabled by the management side “draconian”.

The talks took place yesterday and Monday, and will continue tomorrow. The discussions are between the public sector unions including the INMO, and public sector management, on behalf of government.

At yesterday’s discussions, senior staff from the Labour Relations Commission were also in attendance to facilitate the process going forward.

At the same meeting, it was agreed that the management side would make sectoral presentations on Thursday morning.

Presentations

Doran told INMO members following the meeting:

In these presentations (health, education, civil service, local authority) it is expected that the management side will begin to elaborate on the high level agenda they initially presented at yesterday’s meeting.
It is expected that this will clarify whether the management agenda is, in any way, compatible with the public service unions’ position with regard to the protections (pay/compulsory redundancies) given under the Croke Park Agreement.

He added that the public sector unions have agreed to meet collectively on Thursday afternoon, to assess and analyse what the management will have said in the morning.

This should allow a decision to be made as to whether the process can continue with any chance of an overall agreement emerging. In this context it is expected that Thursday’s deliberations will be important and will determine, at least in the short term, whether the overall process can continue.

In a letter to INMO members on Monday, Doran said that the major changes the management side sought, according to their initial presentation, “could not form the basis of any agreement” arising from the discussions.

He said that if management continue to hold this position, there is “very little prospect” of a negotiated outcome leading to proposals that could be balloted on.

The management agenda was described as “draconian”, with members told that it was possible discussions “could break down at a very early stage”.

Yesterday, UNITE vowed to oppose public sector cuts at talks.

At these talks, the Government is seeking savings of €1 billion over three years, by agreeing on significant changes to working conditions and pay in the public sector.

Read: UNITE vows to oppose public sector cuts at talks today>

Read: Talks on extending Croke Park Agreement begin today>

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