Date Released: 04 March 2013
SIPTU President Jack O’Connor has said that public servants would be better served by one centralised agreement with the Government on pay and conditions.
Responding to media reports of so-called ‘sweeteners’ being on offer to members of some unions if they agree to the Labour Relations Commission proposals on an extension to the Croke Park agreement, O’Connor, said: “I don’t think anyone should get better deals than anyone else.”
Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland on Monday, 4th March, O'Connor said: "I'm not sure the proposals, as they stand, are adequate. But I am sure that everyone who works in the public service is better off with an agreement which protects them against redundancy, which protects them against the outsourcing of their jobs.”
"That's why I supported the Croke Park Agreement when it was going down in flames."
On the issue of the Government’s approach to unions which have rejected the current proposals, O’Connor, said: “I think an effort should be made to extend a hand to the people who are outside and see if anything can be done to address their most serious concerns. It is not up to me to tell the Government what to do but I think that they should do it.”
O’Connor was clear that while a single agreement was preferable the current proposals as they stand may not provide the basis for such a deal.
However, O’Connor said that he did not believe “that the negotiators left anything at the table” and any improvement on the proposals would only be secured through industrial action.
O’Connor added that any Government attempt to implement a pay cut across the board for all public servants would be "monumentally stupid" but he warned that it was likely to implement a divide and rule strategy against the trade union movement if the proposals are rejected.
The SIPTU National Executive Council will meet on Tuesday (5th March) to discuss the proposals with a decision on whether to recommend their acceptance or rejection by members not expected until a further meeting on Tuesday, 14th March.
To listen to the full interview Click Here