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More unions line up to question Lansdowne Road as all-out industrial strife looms

Bodies representing thousands of workers are calling for talks following the offer made to gardaí.

Image: Sam Boal

Updated 6pm

TRADE UNION UNITE is seeking an extraordinary general meeting of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions following the decision made by the Labour Court in relation to gardaí.

Unite’s Richie Browne has said that a renegotiation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement is needed in light of the new garda deal on pay.

“Today, it is clear that the Lansdowne Road Agreement is not delivering for workers and must be replaced with a new agreement which fully reflects our economic recovery,” Browne said, adding that Unite has written to Tom Geraghty, secretary of the ICTU Public Services Committee

It comes as a number of other unions have today called on the government to sit down and review the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

SIPTU, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU) said they will review the Labout Court’s decision.

SIPTU vice-president, Gene Mealy, said: “We are in the process of evaluating the Labour Court recommendation in respect of An Garda Siochána. Clearly, the recommendation presents opportunities and expectations among some public sector workers.

“However, with respect to the process in which garda are engaged, we will be making no further comment pending the outcome of their deliberations on the recommendation.”

Enda Kenny said this afternoon that the Lansdowne Road Agreement still stands.

He said: “The Minister for Public Expenditure does not have a pot of money. Lansdowne is the agreement that’s there. The government respects the Labour Court and its recommendations and we will reflect on those carefully.”

Reversing cuts

However, head of the INMO Liam Doran said the deal brokered by gardaí has changed the landscape of the agreement.

The agreement, which was negotiated in 2015, aimed to reverse cuts in the public service made during the recession.

Key points in that agreement included the restoration of pay on a phased basis, an element which the new garda pay deal defies.

Under current proposals to gardaí, members will receive payment on a specific date and will not be rolled out on an incremental basis.

12/10/2015 Nurses Protests Health Service Crisis Last year, the INMO protested against their work and pay conditions. Source: RollingNews.ie

Doran told the Today With Séan O’Rourke show:

“I don’t think anyone can pretend anymore that it didn’t change Lansdowne Road. I think they’ve changed the parameters significantly.

“My members will expect health service management and government to come with the same degree of imagination and creativity to address the crisis that we have.

“We have rostering issues as well with measuring all time worked by nurses. “Management has been notoriously slow to come to the table.

We’d expect immediate measures to address unpaid work done by nurses.

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“The morale is through the floor, their spirits are broken, their commitment is taken for granted, no respect shown to them. They will look very closely at what emerged last night and direct us.”

27/2/2013 Trade Unions Against Pay Cuts General secretary of the CPSU Eoin Ronayne. Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Eoin Ronayne, general secretary of the Civil and Public Service Union (CSPU) said there needs to be parity of pay in the public sector.

He added: “My members are clearly going to want the same flexibilities in the same way Liam is arguing,

“The reality is my members deliver 100 odd hours a year extra to the state unpaid. That’s worth about €2000 on the average salary.

So, they would be saying directly that if the guards work 15 mins before the start of the shift and are now going to get paid for that, we work 30 mins at the end of a shift and we don’t get paid for it.

“There’s a direct link from our point of view.”

Unite trade union said it had written to the secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions asking for an extraordinary general meeting of the committee to be convened to discuss the renegotiation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement in light of current developments.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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