Reversal of accord may spark industrial strife, says Mulvey

Fri, Sep 7, 2012, 01:00

LABOUR RELATIONS:THOSE WHO seek the abandonment and demise of the Croke Park agreement are playing with the prospect of unprecedented industrial strife, the head of the Labour Relations Commission has said.

In a speech yesterday, Kieran Mulvey said it would also bring a “shuddering halt” to the reform programme and place the deal with the troika at risk.

He said debate had already begun about a possible successor deal between the Government and public service unions – the so-called “Croke Park II”.

In an address to the Irish Academy of Management where he was awarded the TK Whitaker award for distinguished contribution to management, Mr Mulvey said: “A future Croke Park II will require a considerable degree of completion and delivery of the current reform/re-organisation agenda, reduction in public service costs and numbers to the targets already outlined, and no worsening of the Irish economy’s performance or economic growth parameters.

“Creating the conditions to re-engage the parties will not be easy in the light of the potential agenda to be addressed, some of which have already been publicly alluded to, both by politicians and economic commentators.”

Mr Mulvey said such an agreement would be “essential to the orderly conduct of business of the State in its return to economic sovereignty and the rebuilding of the State”.

He also said that too often highly experienced public servants had failed to find the courage to speak on inefficiencies, ineptitude, malpractice and fiscally irresponsible policies.

“Waiting until you are exiting the system to advocate essential reform is not the way senior management should act. Innovation, change management analysis and organisational review are part of all our mandates – legislative or administrative. It is while you hold office that you can effect change, not in retirement or in memoirs.”

Meanwhile, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said the Government had “inherited” the Croke Park agreement from the previous administration and would honour the deal.