IMPACT warns of action if pay cuts introduced

Thursday 09 May 2013 23.15
Shay Cody said the Government and unions could be headed into 'difficult' territory
Shay Cody said the Government and unions could be headed into 'difficult' territory

Health sector workers belonging to the IMPACT trade union have pledged to ballot for industrial action if the Government imposes changes to their pay and conditions worse than those agreed under the Croke Park II proposals.

IMPACT was one of five unions that voted to accept Croke Park II, though the deal was rejected by a majority of public service employees.

Delegates representing the union's Health and Welfare Division at their biennial conference in Portlaoise voted overwhelmingly to instruct the union's executive to organise a ballot for industrial action if longer working hours or further pay cuts were imposed without having been accepted in a ballot of members.

IMPACT National Secretary for the Health and Welfare Division Louise O'Donnell said she was very convinced her members would be prepared to take industrial action to defend their pay and conditions.

She said they had voted Yes to Croke Park II with reluctance because it was the best deal that could be done.

However, she said that if attempts were made to reduce what they had negotiated and transfer those gains to other people, they would ballot for industrial action.

Meanwhile, Labour Relations Commission Chief Executive Kieran Mulvey is continuing to explore if there is any scope for negotiating an agreed settlement on reducing the state payroll by an additional €1bn by 2015.

The Government has given him until Monday to report back, with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin due to give a final report to Cabinet on Tuesday.

The Government has repeatedly threatened to legislate for pay cuts if a negotiated settlement is not reached.

Earlier today, IMPACT General Secretary Shay Cody told RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny that members of IMPACT would feel it was unfair to target all public servants with a cut if ongoing talks on cost reductions in the public sector fail.

Mr Cody said he feared that the Government was heading for a decision which might take both the Coalition and the unions into "difficult" territory.

Mr Cody said that the union had secured concessions from the Government on greater job security for special needs assistants and a reduction in registration fees for social workers.

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