Impact urges acceptance of deal

Impact general secretary Shay Cody.  His union's eventual stance on the new proposal will be crucial given it represents more than 63,000 workers, a membership which has the capacity to swing the overall vote. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish  Times

Impact general secretary Shay Cody. His union's eventual stance on the new proposal will be crucial given it represents more than 63,000 workers, a membership which has the capacity to swing the overall vote. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Thu, Feb 28, 2013, 00:00

The country’s largest public service union, Impact is to recommend to its 63,000 members that they should vote in favour of the proposed new Croke Park agreement.

The union’s executive took the decision at a meeting this afternoon where it discussed the agreement reached this week on public service pay cuts and increment freezes.

Impact said its exec had overwhelmingly recommended that members accept the proposals. Impact general sec Shay Cody said the measures represented the best package that could be achieved through negotiation.

Separately, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is to recommend that its 40,000 members reject the proposed new deal. Following a meeting of its executive the INMO described the proposals as “unfair, unbalanced, and hostile to a female workforce”.

Opposition to the Croke Park II proposals was intensifying in the trade union movement ahead of the Impact meeting.

Two teaching unions and the largest Civil Service union declared yesterday that they would be advocating rejection of the new arrangements to their members.

While the unions in question are not large enough to block the deal, their stance shows that the Government faces a big challenge to secure a workable majority in favour of the new pact.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said this morning the pay deal was absolutely fair and called on unions to back it.

Mr Kenny said securing agreement would be another big step to economic recovery.

“In the context of the additional €3 billion in spending cuts required by 2015, this contribution from payroll is absolutely fair,” he said t a conference of chief executives in Dublin organised by the business lobby group Ibec. “Implementing these savings by agreement with public service staff would be another big step on the road to economic recovery, and would send out a signal to the world that the Irish people are determined to ix our economic problems and restore the country to prosperity and full employment.”

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