Ibec withdraws from pay agreement


EMPLOYERS BODY Ibec has formally withdrawn from the terms of the current national pay agreement and warned that it will withdraw from social partnership entirely unless agreement with trade unions can be reached soon.

Ibec reiterated that there should be no pay rises before 2011 and said it would take unilateral action if no agreement was reached with Ictu between now and mid-December.

“Efforts over the last year to reach an agreement on suspending the pay terms have proved unsuccessful,” said Ibec director general Danny McCoy. “We now owe it to ourselves and to future generations to . . . face up to the challenges ahead.”

He said the terms of the current agreement were agreed in a radically different economic context and were now inappropriate.

“It would be reckless to attempt to apply those terms in the current circumstances,” said Mr McCoy. “The real casualties of the downturn are the many thousands who have lost their jobs . . . Ibec has proposed a set of measures that would redirect public funds towards keeping people in jobs.”

Fine Gael finance spokesman Richard Bruton said the Ibec announcement highlighted the lack of any Government jobs strategy.

Talks between Government officials and trade union leaders on public service reform and cuts in the public sector pay bill resumed yesterday. Chairman of Ictu’s public services committee Peter McLoone said the real deadline for agreement was the budget.