Main teaching unions reject revised pay deal

Impact's Shay Cody said the union achieved significant improvements for its members in the revised deal.

Siptu, the country’s largest public sector union, has recommended its members to accept the Haddington Road Agreement, but the two of the main teaching unions have rejected the deal.

Both the TUI and ASTI said the deal did not represent sufficient change from the original LRC proposals, which they have already rejected. Significantly, both unions stated they would not re-ballot members on the Haddington deal.

In rejecting the original proposals, both unions voted in favour of industrial action in the event that the Government cuts their pay or worsens their working conditions.

However, Siptu’s national executive council has recommended that its members accept the deal and said there would be extensive consultation of the measures and members would be balloted over the next four weeks.

It said the proposals “optimise the potential for generating savings through progressive measures”.

The union — which represents 200,000 workers — said these included plans to replace agency staff with directly employed workers.

“Acceptance of these new terms would preserve the provisions of the original Croke Park agreement affording protection against compulsory redundancy, redeployment in excess of 45km, and the potential for outsourcing.

“They would also maintain the entitlement of public service workers to a say in the reform process. Meanwhile, they would guarantee security of income throughout a continuing period of economic uncertainty,” said a statement.

However, Siptu warned that should unions reject the deal and unilateral cuts were imposed, it will move to ballot for industrial action up to and including strike.

Impact general secretary Shay Cody said the union achieved significant improvements for its members in the revised deal.

A majority of Impact members voted to accept the original package, but Mr Cody said the union insisted on improvements when it emerged that the Government was willing to make further concessions.

Ireland’s fourth largest union, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, has already recommended that its members accept the proposals.

The news comes as new legislation was published allowing the Government to cut public sector workers’ pay without agreement.

Should unions reject the agreement, the Government will use the new laws to impose unilateral pay cuts across the public sector.

The Government had hoped full agreement with the unions could be reached over the proposals, which include pay cuts of up to 10% for public servants earning more than €65,000 and cuts to pensions.

Other measures in the revised package include nurses working longer hours, teachers losing supervision and substitution payments, and a series of increment freezes.

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