Four unions walk out of public service pay talks
Siptu president Jack O'Connor says his union is prepared to take action if no reasonable deal is reached. He said it will 'involve protracted strikes and all that goes with them'.
Four unions have tonight walked out on extension talks to the Croke Park agreement.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) followed by the Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU) and Unite trade union left the talks tonight.
In a statement, the INMO said the decision was taken when it "became apparent that there was no possibility of the ongoing process protecting the existing income of its members".
The union said it would "not be bound by the outcome of any agreement should it emerge".
Steve Tweed of the IMO said the proposals were a "step too far on a number of counts" including a reduction in pay for a large number of its members.
Tom Fitzgerald of Unite said "there is no basis for negotiation in there....there is a billion euro that management want to cut. They want to have the trade union to act as an extension of management functions. We're not prepared to engage in those discussions."
Eoin Ronayne of the CPSU said: "There is not enough that we can do at this stage to make an agreement that our members can cope with. It's far too deep. It cuts right to the core of the cost of living for our members"
The country's largest public service trade union Impact is tonight continuing to take part in talks .It has this evening said it will not accept Government proposals for a total freeze in all increments as part of talks on an extension to the Croke Park agreement.
It also said it was opposed to proposals to cut premium payments to ‘time and a half’ payments for Sunday working.
Trade union Siptu earlier warned of “protracted strikes” in the public service if a reasonable outcome does not emerge from talks to extend the Croke Park agreement.
In a statement this morning Siptu president Jack O’Connor said in the absence of a reasonable outcome “we will actually go to war”.
“We are prepared for it. It will involve protracted strikes and all that goes with them. While we may not win, the Government will not win either.”
Mr O’Connor said it was wise for all sides in the current talks to explore the possibility of a negotiated settlement.
Talks between public sector management and unions on an extension to the Croke Park resumed at 10am and are expected to continue until late tonight in a bid to secure an agreement.
The discussions are focusing on proposals from employers for staff to work additional hours per week and also plans to cut premium payments for gardaí, nurses and other frontline staff.
While the Government has set a deadline of Thursday for the talks to conclude both sides have agreed that the discussions will continue today and into the night until agreement is reached or they breakdown.
Under proposals put forward last night by the Labour Relations Commission as part of talks on an extension to the Croke Park there would be minimum of 37 hours which staff would have to work with a maximum of 39 hours.
Staff currently working 35 hours per week or less would move to a 37 hour week net of all breaks. Those currently working more than 35 hours would move to 39 hours, net of breaks.