Cabinet to continue economic recovery talks

 

The Cabinet will today continue its discussions on ways to achieve a €2 billion reduction in costs. 

Senior union leaders believe the Government is likely to give its response tomorrow to submissions on economic recovery drawn up by the various social partners. The union leaders believe any meeting today will seek to examine if there is any common ground between the parties.

Negotiations between the the Government and the social partners on its economic recovery programme are set to begin tomorrow.

Senior union leaders believe the Government is likely to give its response tomorrow to submissions on economic recovery drawn up by the various social partners. The union leaders believe any meeting today will seek to examine if there is any common ground between the parties.

They also believe the Cabinet will review the situation at next week’s meeting, and determine whether the process should continue.

However, the general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu), David Begg, said yesterday the Government had not put any specific proposals on the table for discussion other than indicating it wanted to cut its cost base by €2 billion this year.

The Cabinet discussed how to achieve these cuts yesterday and will continue its discussions today.

Siptu, the State's biggest union this week warned of likely strikes and civil disruption if the Government moved to introduce cuts in public sector pay and social benefits.

Earlier in the week, more than 9,000 members of Siptu's Dublin Health Services branch voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over the proposed cutbacks in the health service. The branch represents non-nursing staff in the Health Service Executive.

The Irish Nurses' Organisation (INO) has also warned Minister for Health Mary Harney and HSE chief Prof Brendan Drumm that its lawyers have confirmed it is unlawful to interfere with the terms of the national wage agreement.

The INO also reiterated that it will not enter into any talks or sign any deal which would reduce the pay of its members.