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Government to seek negotiations with unions over cutting €300m from pay

The Cabinet decided this morning to ask the head of the Labour Relations Commission to seek out unions and determine whether or not there is a basis for further negotiations.

Kieran Mulvey
Kieran Mulvey
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said that it remains committed to cutting €300 million from the public sector pay bill this year and will attempt to make contact with unions in the coming days to determine if a deal can be reached.

Following today’s Cabinet meeting the government reaffirmed its commitment to cutting €1 billion overall from the public sector pay and pensions bill by 2015.

In a statement it said it would ask the CEO of the Labour Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, to contact unions in the coming days in a bid to establish “whether or not there is a basis for a negotiated agreement to meet these budgetary targets”.

This follows the rejection of the proposed public sector pay deal – Croke Park II – by trade unions last week following a ballot of members on the deal that had been thrashed out by the country’s biggest unions and the government in February.

Rejection of the deal has led to speculation that the government could legislate for an across the board 7 per cent pay cut in the public sector to achieve the savings.

Meanwhile trade unions have threatened industrial action if the government legislates for pay cuts.

Proposals in the now defunct Croke Park II deal had included salary cuts for those earning over €65,000 as well as reductions in overtime and allowances.

Watch: ‘Nothing on the table’ to provoke teachers’ strike, says Minister

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Hugh O'Connell

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