Latest: Teacher's Union of Ireland Executive Committee to recommend rejection of pay deal

Latest: Teacher's Union of Ireland Executive Committee to recommend rejection of pay deal

Update 9.24pm: The executive council of the Teacher’s Union of Ireland has decided it will not recommend the new public pay deal to its members.

The Executive Committee unanimously decided to recommend rejection after their meeting tonight.

TUI President Joanne Irwin said that it would be unconscionable for the union to recommend acceptance of an agreement that effectively copper-fastened a system of pay inequality for its duration.

The union described the draft document’s failure to properly address the "discriminatory, inequitable" two-tier pay system as completely unacceptable and said that the process of pay equalisation requires acceleration rather than further delay.

TUI has more than 17,000 members who will be balloted on the draft agreement in September.

Ms Irwin said: "We acknowledge the pay restoration elements in the proposed document.

"However, an unwinding of the unacceptable, unfair and inequitable two-tier pay system was the key priority for TUI on entering the recent negotiations. Wherever and whenever possible, we vigorously pushed the issue forward.

"It remains completely unacceptable to us that two colleagues, recruited within days of one another, are paid significantly different rates for carrying out the same work. TUI has prioritised and campaigned on this issue and some progress has been made.

"The draft proposed agreement would have the effect of blocking further progress for at least three years. At a time when schools are struggling to attract teachers for an increasing number of subjects due to more lucrative options in other employments, the process of full pay equalisation requires urgent acceleration, not delay.

"Regrettably, the draft agreement’s provision that new entrant pay be examined over a twelve month period in 2018, with application of any outcome no sooner than 2021 is wholly inadequate.

"The union’s members will be balloted on the proposed agreement in September, and the Executive Committee will be strongly advocating that they reject it."

Update 6.28pm: The executive council of the Teacher’s Union of Ireland has said it will meet this evening to discuss the agreement.

The TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann said he cannot say for certain, but it is likely the union will recommend to their members to reject the new deal, because it does not address pay equality for new members.

Mr MacGabhann said: "The indications are very strong that the executive will, in line with the prioritisation we've given to this issue, take a very dim view of the absence of provision for this.

"And there is a likelihood, I can't pre-empt what the executive might decide, but there is a likelihood, a strong likelihood that their decision will be that it is not possible to recommend this agreement in those circumstances.

"Right now, I can speculate but I can't be certain in my speculation about the executive's decision."

Update 4pm: Sinn Féin has said the the proposed public sector pay deal is grossly unfair because it does not address a two tier pay structure amnd ensure equal pay for equal work.

If approved in its ballots of members public sector workers will get increases of up to 10% over three years from 2018, though the pension levy introduced during the recession will only be lowered rather than abolished.

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe insists the proposals are fair for workers and taxpayers.

But Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane says that’s not the case and that not addressing the two tier pay structiure was a mistake.

"It’s .. grossly unfair that those who came into system are being asked again to operate to a two tier pay structure as far as 2022"

Update 2.30pm: The Minister for Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe, has said the proposed new public pay deal is fair for both workers and taxpayers.

Paschal Donohoe said he hoped public workers would approve the new deal agreed overnight, which will increase the pay of some newer workers by up to 10% a year.

In exchange, the pension levy introduced during the recession will become permanent, although at a lower rate.

Minister Donohoe said the deal proved the value of entering talks to achieve a fair deal.

Latest: Teacher's Union of Ireland Executive Committee to recommend rejection of pay deal

Update 12 noon: Siptu’s health division organiser Paul Bell has said the "key objective" of protecting jobs from being outsourced has been satisfied by the new draft pay agreement.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke, Mr Bell (pictured) said it was imperative that members have job security and no compulsory redundancies over the next three years.

He said this is important for all members, but especially low-paid workers.

"A key objective was to ensure the clause within the Landsdowne Toad agreement protecting members’ jobs from being outsourced was retained in full, which ensures our members have job security and no compulsory redundancy," he said.

"That’s very key for low paid workers because they’re the ones who always feel under pressure from budgetary cuts and where there’s a situation where jobs can be outsourced."

Other key issues for Siptu were the removal of the majority of members from the effects of FEMPI legislation. He said this legislation has been used to cut members’ salaries since 2009.

He said: "You can now see a clear roadmap where we can dismantle such cuts for people (some of whom are on ) €30,000 euro or less, and up to €34,500, which over the course of the agreement will become fully exempt from that levy. That’s a big development."

Mr Bell added that the stability that comes from this draft agreement is very important for members. He acknowledged that not everything can be achieved in negotiations over public pay.

Latest: Teacher's Union of Ireland Executive Committee to recommend rejection of pay deal

Update 9.30am: Unions have said no one is "high-fiving" over the proposed new public sector pay deal, but it is the best they could negotiate.

Talks between the Government and more than 30 unions ran into the early hours of this morning, culminating in agreement on a €880m draft pay deal which will now be put to members.

The unions say this deal would work out as around a 7% pay increase over the next three years, for three quarters of public servants.

It is scaled to benefit those on lower incomes more. The deal will also see the threshold for the pension levy rise.

The deal follows two and a half weeks of negotiations between unions and management.

Impact’s Bernard Harbor said: "Nobody is doing high-fives, but I think it’s the best that we can achieve. It will see pay increases over the coming year in line with the better deals that have been done in the private sector."

There are no changes in a number of areas the Government had been targeting, such as outsourcing and Saturday working, but also no provisions on recruitment and retention issues, which a number of unions face.

Liam Doran from the Nurses and Midwives Organisation said the deal "is still being digested" and that further talks would have to take place.

"Progress has been made on pay restoration, but there is still work to be done on recruitment and retention initiatives, which is our other key issue," he said.

Latest: Teacher's Union of Ireland Executive Committee to recommend rejection of pay deal

Earlier:

The Government and public service unions have reached a draft agreement on a pay deal to succeed the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

RTE reports that almost 250,000 public sector workers recruited before 2013 are set to receive pay hikes of between 6.2% and 7.4% over the next three years, and that about 50,000 recruited after 2013 will receive increases of between 7% and 10% over the same time period.

This latter group has less generous pension entitlements than their colleagues with longer service. Employees with smaller pensions will get the biggest pay increases.

The pension levy introduced in 2009 will also be abolished, with public sector workers instead making higher pension contributions on a phased basis.

The deal is reported to be worth more than €880m - €180m and a total of €887m over three years.

90% of all public servants will be out of emergency FEMPI pay provisions by the year 2020.

Talks continued late into the night at the WRC as government and trade union representatives sought agreement on a successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

Discussions yesterday are believed to have centred on pay, pensions and the possibility of Saturday working hours.

The draft proposals will now be considered by union leaders before they are put to a ballot.

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