Siptu calls for new national agreement


THE PRESIDENT of the country’s largest trade union has said that a new national agreement is the only way forward for the country.

Siptu chief Jack O’Connor also questioned the truth of claims that pay rates in Ireland were out of kilter with those in competitor countries in Europe.

Mr O’Connor was commenting following calls on Thursday for a five-year pay freeze by Glen Dimplex chief executive Seán O’Driscoll who said a freeze was needed to restore competitiveness.

Mr O’Connor said such calls represented “more of what we have been hearing from the Government and employers for almost two years”.

“It is all about the sacrifices workers are going to make and nothing about what will be done to help them.”

He said that he had been urging over the last year for a new national agreement to be reached as the only way forward for the country.

Meanwhile, a former trade union leader and a former health board chief executive have been appointed to new roles aimed at assisting in the implementation of the Croke Park agreement on public service pay and reform.

Dan Murphy, former general secretary of the Public Service Executive Union has been appointed as chairman of the new “sectoral platform” which will oversee the implementation of the deal in local authorities. Former health board chief executive Pat Harvey will chair the “sectoral platform” for the health service.

Mr Murphy retired last year after more than 40 years as general secretary of the Public Service Executive Union. Mr Harvey was chief executive of the North Western Health Board.