09/04/2010

IMPACT Rejects Public Pay Deal

The hard-fought public pay deal has hit another major snag after Ireland's largest public service union IMPACT said it could not recommend the deal to its members.

The union revealed its central executive committee came to the decision after a meeting yesterday afternoon.

A spokesman said the executive of the union would be deciding the arrangements for a ballot of its 55,000 members in the mainstream public service at its scheduled monthly meeting next week.

The public pay deal, hammered out in the Labour Court in March between top union officials and the Government, has been met with huge obstacles despite being called "historic" by the Labour Court Chief and being championed by Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

On Wednesday the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) was the first major union to be rejected by its executive during their annual convention in Galway.

Delegates in Galway unanimously voted in favour of a motion calling on the union’s central executive committee to recommend the rejection of the agreement to its members after the union's standing committee expressed its "total and vehement opposition" to the agreement.

General Secretary of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland John White said it was a "great time of difficulty" for their members and a time when they will be truly tested.

He said teachers and other public servants have had their take-home pay cut by up to 19%, while their terms and conditions of employment are under attack.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for IMPACT said that after detailed consideration of the proposals their central executive committee took the view that the proposals did not provide the certainty that its members had sought over pay, pensions and job security.

However, in a statement released today the union said it would limit industrial action pending the outcome of a further ballot, which is expected to be completed by the middle of May.

(DW/BMcC)

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