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UNITE tells members they should vote against Haddington Road deal

The union says the new proposals don’t address its concerns about the broader economic effect of public pay cuts.

UNITE's Jimmy Kelly says cutting public pay will make Ireland's economy contract overall.
UNITE's Jimmy Kelly says cutting public pay will make Ireland's economy contract overall.
Image: Photocall Ireland

THE UNITE trade union has told its members they should vote against the Haddington Road proposals on public pay.

The advice comes after the union’s public sector representatives met in Dublin today – where the new proposals were described as a “Haddington Road label slapped onto a Croke Park bottle”.

Union regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said the revised proposals did not address the union’s main concerns about the effects that cutting €1 billion in public pay over the next three years would have on the broader economy.

“The fact that the Government returned to the table vindicated the decision by an overwhelming majority of trade union members to reject the Croke Park II proposals,” Kelly said in a statement.

Kelly repeated earlier concerns that cutting €300 million from this year’s pay bill would have little or no impact in the government’s overall deficit, while at the same time risking hundreds of jobs in the private sector.

“The renegotiation process merely shuffled around the cuts,” he said.

“These proposals are still a bad deal for public sector workers, a bad deal for communities and a bad deal for the economy.”

UNITE’s 6,000 public sector members will be balloted on whether to accept the proposals over the next fortnight.

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The union is now the fourth to recommend that its members reject the proposals, following the two secondary teachers’ unions and the CPSU. The two secondary teachers’ unions said they would not even go through the formality of holding a ballot.

A number of other unions, including SIPTU, the INMO medical union and the primary teachers’ union ASTI, have all recommended that their members vote to approve the proposals.

Read: Dáil vote means top earners set to take pay cut from July

Read: Here’s what’s contained in the new ‘Haddington Road’ public pay deal

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Gavan Reilly

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