SIPTU will continue to fund only Labour candidates in the next election after a bid to have the union sever its links with the party failed. 

Delegates at the union's conference in Cork backed a motion calling for a review of its political fund, which will report in 2017.

However, a motion calling for the union to disaffiliate from Labour was remitted for further consideration, meaning the issue did not go to a vote.

Proposing the motion, Kieran Allen of SIPTU's Education Sector said the Labour Party, which he claimed and enthusiastically collaborated with austerity, should not have a preferred status in the union. 

He said many grass roots members had turned away from Labour and a vote for Labour was a vote to put in another Fine Gael government.

He argued that longstanding union members were being discriminated against because only members standing on a Labour ticket would receive funding from the union. 

He noted that in last year's  local elections, the union had contributed 20,000 to candidates. 

However, a number of speakers defended Labour's role in Government, citing the restoration of employment rights measures like JLCs and REAs, and preventing further cuts.

Gerry Harris of the Public Administration Sector said his firefighter members had been listened to by Labour in Government and would not have been listened to by anyone else.

Shirley Bradshaw of the Arts and Culture section urged delegates to remit the motion for further consideration, saying it did not provide enough clarity on what would happen if SIPTU broke its link to Labour. 

She said it was not possible to simply align with unspecified parties of the Left because the Left is quite fragmented.

In the end delegates voted to remit the motion for further consideration, avoiding a vote on the substantive issue.

As a result, SIPTU will continue its policy of only supporting members standing for election if they are standing for Labour.