Siptu’s boost for pay deal acceptance

The chances of the new public service pay deal being passed by the trade union movement has been given a boost after the Siptu executive decided to recommend acceptance to its members.

After all the public service unions ballot their members individually, each will reflect the outcome in an overall ballot of the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

The size of their vote in that overall ballot is determined by their size.

It is widely considered that if either Siptu or Impact, the two biggest public service unions, were to vote against the proposal, it would be very difficult for the deal to be passed by the Ictu committee.

Impact has already indicated that it will recommend acceptance to its members and now, after a meeting of its executive council, Siptu has done the same.

“Having considered the matter in full, we have decided to recommend acceptance of the proposals, on balance, as the benefits, such as the protections against outsourcing in particular, as well as other positive elements, outweigh the potential for what might be gained by running the risk of rejection,” said a Siptu statement.

“In the event of acceptance, we will vigorously pursue implementation of all elements of the proposals. In particular, we will insist on full implementation of Clause 4.1.3. which envisages a process to satisfactorily resolve the issue of pay for new entrants.”

The ballot of its members will start on July 3 with the votes to be counted on August 10. The deal suffered an early blow when two large teaching unions, the Irish National Teachers Organisation and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland recommended rejection to their members.

Meanwhile, Impact has told its members it is confident that, if accepted, the proposed new agreement can deliver equality on the time it takes public servants to ascend their pay scales.

“Right now, it takes staff who started work in January 2011 or after — the so-called ‘new entrants’ — two additional years before reaching their final scale point,” the union’s head of communications said in a blog post to members.

“In the recent pay negotiations, unions sought and achieved a 12-month process to address the length of the scales. This is shorthand for dealing with the outstanding ‘new entrant’ issue in most public service grades, although it won’t address issues that are exclusive to teachers.

“Impact believes the process can result in the removal of two incremental points from each pay scale, which would mean faster progress up the scale and an equal scale-length for staff who joined the public service before and after 2011.”


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