Ictu ratifies Croke Park agreement


The Croke Park deal on pay and reform in the public service has been formally ratified by the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Union (Ictu).

The deal, which was accepted by a two-to-one majority vote this afternoon, follows a decision by members of Impact and Siptu last Friday to back the agreement.

Under the deal, the Government has promised not to cut pay further or to introduce compulsory redundancies in return for co-operation by staff with a wide scale reform programme across the public service.

The agreement also sets out a mechanism for staff to recoup some of the money lost in recent pay cuts from savings to be generated by the reform programme.

Today's vote came after members of Siptu in the public service voted in favour of the Croke Park proposals by almost a two-to-one majority, while members of Impact supported the deal by a margin of 77 to 23 per cent.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore, who has previously faced criticism for failing to take a position on the deal, said: "I welcome the conclusion of the ratification process of the Croke Park Agreement at the meeting of the Public Service Committee today and I would urge all concerned to accept the outcome of the democratic process that has just concluded".

"From the very day on which the government showed the trade unions the door in government building on December 4th last, I urged the government and the union movement to reopen talks and to seek to conclude a comprehensive national agreement", the Labour Party leader said.

"When the draft Croke Park Agreement was concluded on March 30th I said that it was then a matter for the members of each of the unions to consider the proposals and vote on them in accordance with their own democratic procedures".

"I took that position and adhered to it since then because I believed that public sector workers should be treated with the respect they deserve and allowed to conduct their ballots, free from interference from any political party", he concluded.

The Government will now establish an implementation group to oversee the operation of the reform programme and the reimbursement of money to staff. However, a number of issues remain to be clarified.

Some unions such as the TUI and IFUT have said they will not be bound by a majority vote at the Public Services Committee. The TUI believes it is inappropriate for a deal covering conditions of service to be decided by a majority vote of unions.