A number of trade union activists have urged public service workers to reject the extension to the Lansdowne Road Agreement because it fails to address the key demands of State employees.

Speaking in a personal capacity, the rank-and-file activists from SIPTU, the Teachers' Union of Ireland, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, the Civil Public and Services Union, and the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland criticised the deal for institutionalising the two-tier pay structure, and making the temporary pension levy permanent.

They also noted that the unpaid hours imposed during the economic crisis were now permanent, and that pay rises on offer were insufficient.

They raised concerns that financial emergency legislation would still be in place and could be used to penalise unions who reject the new deal.

Eddie Conlon of the Teachers' Union of Ireland Grassroots Group said that if the deal was rejected, union leaders could return to talks to seek a more favorable arrangement.

He claimed the leadership of trade unions were not prepared to fight for anything and would "roll over" at every opportunity for whatever the Government throws at them.

CPSU activist Terry Murphy accused the Government of trying to bribe civil service unions with side deals.

However, he acknowledged that his own union would benefit from a side deal which introduces over a thousand additional promotional posts, as well as additional annual leave.

Mark Walshe of ASTI Fightback said his union's decision two weeks ago to suspend its industrial action over the first Lansdowne Road Agreement would strengthen members' resolve to resist the new agreement, and could give impetus to a cross union campaign against it.

Jo Tully of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said the deal would not address the recruitment and retention difficulties in nursing for years.

Kieran Allen of SIPTU described the deal as a failure for members.

The leadership of the two largest public service unions, SIPTU and IMAPCT, have already decided to recommend acceptance of the LRA2 agreement, as has the Prison Officers' Association.

The TUI and the INTO executives have recommended rejection, while a number of other unions are still considering their position.

Ballots will take place over the next three months.