Thursday 9th May 2013
IMPACT is preparing a coordinated response – including industrial action if necessary – in case public service management imposes changes to pay and working conditions that go beyond the ‘Croke Park 2’ measures accepted by a majority of the union’s members in a recent ballot.
Speaking to delegates at the union’s Health & Welfare and Services & Enterprises divisional conferences in Portlaoise today (Thursday), the union’s general secretary Shay Cody said IMPACT had told Labour Relations Commission (LRC) chief executive Kieran Mulvey it would be “totally unacceptable” to IMPACT if the existing proposals were changed to worsen the situation for its members. “In that situation we would have to ballot our members for industrial action,” he said.
Mr Cody said public servants faced great uncertainty following the rejection of the Croke Park package by most unions. “The current impasse puts the entire public service in a very dangerous and uncertain place. We do not know where the LRC process will lead, if anywhere. We have heard threats from ministers and management, but we don’t know when they will act or what form the attack will take. We read that deals may be attempted with individual unions or groups of unions but, right now, we have no idea if this is real or what it means in practice. There is uncertainty over how other unions will react if management or ministers move to impose deeper cuts,” he explained.
Mr Cody said IMPACT has engaged with the LRC to see if it was possible to make progress. “We have put forward suggestions that we believe would benefit IMPACT members and others. However, we will not accept any outcome that worsens the proposals that were reluctantly accepted by our members. In this uncertain environment, where the current Croke Park agreement is likely to collapse, we must be prepared to respond in the event of hostile management actions at national or local level, whether these actions are planned or arise almost by accident,” he said.