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University lecturers agree to enter new Croke Park talks

The Irish Federation of University Teachers said it was up to the official side to prove that talks on a new pay deal are not just an attempt to persuade people to accept proposals that have already been rejected.

A UNION REPRESENTING staff in third-level institutions has agreed to enter talks on a new Croke Park deal.

The decision was made at an emergency meeting held by the executive of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) this morning as other unions representing the education sector – including the three teachers’ unions which rejected the Croke Park II deal – attended talks at the Labour Relations Commission

Mike Jennings, the general secretary of IFUT, sounded a note of caution and said that it was now up to the government negotiators to prove that talks are not just an attempt to persuade people to accept proposals that have already been rejected by IFUT members.

“IFUT will be going into the talks to investigate if it is possible to achieve meaningful changes to the previously unacceptable and rejected proposals,” he said.

Talks are continuing at the Labour Relations Commission today in a bid to put together a new public sector pay deal, which may include separate agreements with different sectors.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has said that the €300 million targeted in savings for this year may not be met but that the government is still optimistic of saving €1 billion in total between now and 2015.

Read: Pay talks continue as coalition concedes €300 million target might be missed >

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