Lower-paid civil servants back new pay deal

CPSU members accept Haddington Road

General secretary of the CPSU Eoin Ronayne. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

General secretary of the CPSU Eoin Ronayne. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 16:44

Lower-paid civil servants have voted to accept the proposed new Haddington Road agreement on public service pay.

Members of the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) voted in favour of the proposed new deal by 54.7 per cent to 45.3 per cent.

The executive of the union had recommended to members that the should reject the Haddington Road proposals.

Members of the CPSU had decisively rejected the earlier Croke Park II proposals on cutting the public service pay bill in April.

The decision by lower-paid civil servants to back the new Haddington Road proposals represents a further boost to the Government’s aim to reduce its public service pay and pensions bill by €300million this year and by €1 billion overall by 2015 as part of an agreement with trade unions.

Public servants represented by the trade union Unite are so far the only group to have rejected the proposed Haddington Road agreement in a ballot.

The general secretary of the CPSU Eoin Ronayne said the ballot result represents “not so much an endorsement of the Haddington Road agreement but a forced acceptance by members as a result of Government action through its financial emergency legislation”.

“People were blackmailed into voting to accept Haddington Road as the alternative choice was so draconian under the Government’s financial emergency legislation.”

Mr Ronayne said that the executive of the CPSU would be meeting on Thursday and he would be proposing that there should be a co-ordinated campaign by unions against the Government’s financial emergency legislation.

He said unions should consider breaking with tradition and campaigning politically against the legislation at the next electoral opportunity.

The financial emergency legislation would allow the Government to impose pay cuts on higher earners, freeze increments for up to three years and permit Minsters to change non-core terms and conditions of employment for staff that did not agree to the terms of the Haddington Road deal.