Ireland's largest trade union, SIPTU, has decided to recommend acceptance of the new public service pay agreement negotiated two weeks ago. 

The decision significantly boosts the prospect of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 being accepted by a majority of Government employees. 

In a statement, SIPTU's National Executive Council said the benefits of the new deal outweigh "the potential for what might be gained by running the risk of rejection."

They said that if the agreement 2018-2020 is accepted, SIPTU will vigorously pursue implementation of all the proposals - with particular focus on a promised process to resolve the issue of lower pay rates for new entrants introduced during the financial crisis.

Balloting of members will begin on Monday 3 July and run until Wednesday 9 August. Counting of votes will take place on 10 August.

IMPACT and the Prison Officers' Association have already decided to recommend the deal.

However, the Teachers' Union of Ireland and the Irish National Teachers' Organisation have decided to recommend rejection.

A number of unions are still considering their position on the draft agreement, while the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors is taking legal advice on certain proposals.

The Irish Medical Organisation has deferred a decision on whether to recommend the deal, pending clarification of a number of issues.

Following a meeting of the IMO leadership yesterday, informed sources said that the agreement as it currently stands would not be acceptable.

It is understood that the union will be writing to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and to the Minister for Health for clarification on a number of issues.

These include the lower pay rates for new entrants, difficulties around recruitment and retention of doctors, and a number of outstanding awards.