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Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
Croke Park

Howlin tells public servants Croke Park II will be 'the last ask'

The Taoiseach said that unions will have to ‘scrutinise’ the draft agreement today.

DETAILS OF THE final draft of Croke Park II, the new public service agreement will be published later today.

Entering a Cabinet meeting this morning, the Taoiseach said the publication will allow ‘everyone a chance to scrutinise it’.

“Unions will obviously have to consider the full detail of the plan,” added Enda Kenny.

Union members will be balloted on the agreement in the coming weeks.

The chair of the Public Services Committee Shay Cody and Minister Brendan Howlin confirmed that references to compulsory redundancies were included in previous editions of the plan but they were omitted from the final draft.

Howlin told reporters outside Leinster House that this will be the “last ask” of public service workers.

He said he told public servants, “If you consider this, swallow hard…I know it’s not easy…and vote for this, we will not be coming back again.”

The Public Reform and Expenditure Minister added that he hopes 2016 talks will be based on a recovered economy and improvements on pay and conditions will feature.

“All of this is difficult for public service workers who have already made contributions, carried a lot of burdens. Like everyone else in this society.”

Union leaders described the agreement as the best they could get through negotiations. They also believe the alternative could be a lot worse. The Government had warned that it would legislate for pay cuts and other reforms in the public service if a deal was not signed by 28 February.

The final draft is understood to include salary reductions for those earning more than €65,000, longer working weeks for civil servants and changes to premium payments for Sunday work.

If agreed, the arrangements will be in place until 2016.

Croke Park: Proposals need to be evaluated carefully, says SIPTU

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