LRC granted extra time to discuss pay and pensions with public service unions

Howlin wants discussions concluded before Cabinet meeting next Tuesday

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has granted the Labour Relations Commission additional time to discuss the rejection of the revised Croke Park agreement with trade union representatives.

Mr Howlin was briefed by commission chief executive Kieran Mulvey this evening on his engagement with the ICTU public services committee.

The talks came after unions rejected the Government’s latest proposals which sought to cut the State pay and pensions bill by €300 million this year.

During the briefing, Mr Mulvey asked Mr Howlin to grant the commission additional time to explore potential areas for progress that have emerged as part of the process.


Mr Howlin agreed on the basis that the process would conclude in time for him to provide a full report to the Cabinet next Tuesday.

Mr Mulvey is understood to be keen to talk to key figures in the labour movement, notably Siptu members whose votes tipped the balance against acceptance of the Croke Park II proposals.

He is also expected to have further contact with the Garda Representative Association which walked out of talks on Croke Park II and other Garda bodies.

The GRA, which represents rank-and-file gardaí, did not invite the Minister for Justice to its annual conference in Westport, Co Mayo. The Coalition also appears to have turned down an appeal for a commission to examine Garda pay and conditions – a key GRA demand.

The head of Ictu, David Begg, has called for the unions and the Government not to “tear the country apart” over Croke Park II and the drive to deliver savings.

He said union members who were not prepared to accept any cuts in pay or changes in working conditions were not being realistic.