TEEU withdraws support for Croke Park deal
Union executive overrules shop stewards to change stance of proposed new agreement
The Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union has withdrawn its recommendation to its members to support the new Croke Park deal. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
A leading craft union has withdrawn its recommendation to members in the public service that they should support the new Croke Park agreement in a ballot.
The Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) last week called on its 1,500 members in the public service to back the propoed new deal following a meeting of a consultative committee, made up mainly of shop stewards from across the country.
However The Irish Times understands the overall executive of the union - which primarily represents staff in the private sector - has decided to change its stance on the proposed new Croke Park agreement.
The union is now to send out ballot papers to its public service members without any recommendation.
A spokesman for the TEEU said the union’s executive had decided it would be inappropriate to send a signal to employers in the private sector that it would be willing to accept cuts in working conditions in the public service.
It is understood the union in recent times has secured pay increases for members in some profitable parts of the private sector such as the pharmaceutical industry.
TEEU members in the public service - such as electricians, fitters and construction trade personnel - work mainly in the health and local authority sectors.
The Irish Times reported earlier this month that in side deal to the main new Croke Park agreememnt proposals, the TEEU secured an increase in leave for some craft workers outside of Dublin who currently have 23 days holiday per year.
Under the side deal, if the agreement was passed leave for all craft workers would be standardised at 25 days per year.
In a statement issued last week after the meeting of its consultative committee the TEEU said it had passed the following motion: “That this consultative committee is prepared to recommend the Labour Relations Commission proposals for the revised agreement for pay and reform in the public service 2013-2016 as the final step that can be tolerated by our members in the current climate and resolves that the TEEU should resist, with all means at its disposal, any further attempts to diminish the pay and conditions of employment in the public service.”
Meanwhile, the result of the first ballot on the proposed newCroke Park agreement will be known this evening.
The executive of the Teachers Union of Ireland had recommended to members they should v ote to reject the proposed new deal.