Unions say deal 'difficult' to accept
Ictu public services committee chairman Shay Cody with vice president Sheila Nunan and secretary Tom Geraghty after a deal was struck between the Government and the country's public service unions. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
The agreement reached with Government is “very, very difficult” and will result in to falls in income for “many, many public servants,” according to the general secretary of Impact.
Shay Cody, speaking at a union press conference following the close of all-night talks with Government, said the unions could “not make the pay reductions go away” and there was no point in “sugaring” that particular pill.
“The judgment of the unions that entered into the negotiations is that we believe that the extent of that reduction is less than if we hadn’t engaged in negotiations,” said Mr Cody, who is also chairman of the public services committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions
“Obviously these discussions were very, very difficult discussions against a backdrop of public servants having delivered very significant savings over the last number of years.”
He said the unions had had a choice: to engage and try to shape the nature and extent of the pay cuts or to stand back.
“It was made very, very clear to the unions that in the absence of engagement, agreement the Government was determined to extract the costs in any event and they would do so backed up by legislation.”