30/03/2010

'Revolutionary Deal' Struck At Labour Court

The boss of the Labour Relations Commission has announced a deal struck between public sector management and unions is "revolutionary".

Kieran Mulvey, Chief Executive, made the announcement today after the talks ended in the early hours of this morning.

Under the new agreement the Government will not impose further pay cuts on State employees before 2014 in return for "significant reforms" in the workplace.

Mr Mulvey said the changes included the unions agreeing to substantial reductions in numbers within the sector and a longer core working day.

There is to be significant cost-saving reform measures across all parts of the public service

The unions also agreed to a review of savings generated to be held in Spring 2011 to determine if past pay cuts can be reimbursed; No compulsory redundancies instead flexible re-deployment arrangements will be made; The creation of a unified public service labour market; A merit-based promotion to be the norm; Promotion and incremental progression will from now be based on performance and an "industrial peace" clause to be put in place

Mr Mulvey said he hoped public servants would rise to the challenge, and also said he had asked the unions to call off their ongoing work-to-rule.

Welcoming the outcome of the discussions, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said the agreement will “provide confidence and stability in the public service to meet both current and future challenges”.

Mr Cowen said both sides had made “very significant efforts” during the “complex” negotiations but he felt the deal will result in “greater efficiency, better services for the citizen and more satisfactory working conditions for public servants".

A ballot is now expected to be held by union members who can still reject the deal.

(DW/BMcC)

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