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Join the March on Saturday next, Feb 9,—even if you have no confidence in union leaders—then keep the movement going if/when ICTU leaders retreat! February 5, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left, Unions.

From Paddy Healy, Convener National Public Service Alliance

Click Here for details for your region

Garda, Nursing Unions Mount Pressure on Government, IMPACT mounts pressure on Members, Education Unions Hide in the bushes!
Demand that your union Withdraws from the Reduced Pay Talks NOW!!
A report in Irish Times to-day on developments surrounding the reduced pay talks can be found by clicking here.

An update on the talks from the WEBSITE of the Trade Union IMPACT can also be found by clicking here.

Following the withdrawal of the AGSI from the Reduced Pay Talks, the Garda Representative Association representing rank and file gardaí have now also withdrawn. Speaking on RTE this morning, the President of GRA said the association would consider a work-to-rule if their members pay was cut. He added that cuts to pay and allowances would breach the existing Croke Park Deal and that accordingly the prohibition of industrial action in the DEAL would fall also.
The nursing union INMO meets to-day to consider developments in the talks. A statement from the union said they would use all means at their disposal to resist reductions in any aspect of members pay.

On the other hand, the IMPACT Update repeats government threats and even threats “by influential elements in the political world” to members pay and conditions: “Management has already said that, in the absence of an agreed extension to the Croke Park deal, it will seek to impose payroll savings of “at least” €1 billion. It is also clear that influential elements in the political world would seek to impose other unpalatable changes in the absence of an agreement. Public statements by ministers have, among other things, called for the introduction of compulsory redundancies and the freezing, or even abolition, of increments.”

There is no mention of any proposed action by the union to defend members against such attacks. The UPDATE effectively says that the union has no choice but to accept increased working hours though an increase of 5 hours per week is unacceptable.

It should be recalled that Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, has admitted in reply to a parliamentary question that the top 10,000 personal income recipients earned on average 595,000EURO each per year.

The government didn’t impose a penny extra in taxes on the top 10,000 in the budget. Yet it is demanding that public servants concede a billion in pay cuts!!

Unions should end their shameful participation in these talks immediately.


1. 6to5against - February 6, 2013

Quick question. I know where the Dublin March is assembling, but I don’t know where it’s going. I’ll have kids with me, and want to avoid the worst of the crowding at the beginning.

Where does it end up?

Or is the lack of any obvious destination a clever self-satirising reference to its futility?


CMK - February 6, 2013

It’s assembling at the bottom of the hill; we’ll proceed to march up to the top of the hill; whereupon we will, after suitable speeches, proceed to march back down the hill.

That’s ICTU perpetual demonstration route, it was the one they used on November 2010 and the one they used on 24 November last.

(It’s going to Merrion Square, via Dame Street, College Green and Nassau Street).


2. D_D - February 6, 2013


Though 24 November was not an ICTU demonstration. It was jointly organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, the Campaign Against the Household Tax, Communities Against the Cuts and the Spectacle of Defiance. The ICTU supported it.

And Paddy is right. Make Saturday big even if you have no confidence in the organisers. It is important to recognise too that no other force could get as many out.


Joe - February 6, 2013

The ICTU may have supported it (24 Nov). But IMPACT did not. They opposed it and made sure no IMPACT banner was on it.


scabbyrabbit - February 6, 2013

Organised jointly by DCTU and CAHWT in name only considering the absence of opposition to the Property Tax in promotional material, even if CAHWT provided the bulk of the attendance.


D_D - February 7, 2013

“Organised jointly by DCTU and CAHWT in name only”

Why are you telling this lie on The Cedar Lounge?

“the absence of opposition to the Property Tax in promotional material”

Why are you telling this lie on The Cedar Lounge? Much of the promotional material was produced by CAHWT itself.

“CAHWT provided the bulk of the attendance.”

Are you mistaken and if not why are you telling this lie on The Cedar Lounge? There were 15,000-20,000 on the march. The CAHWT contingent was relatively large. A Socialist Party member at the last ULA Branch Council meeting claimed that it was 4,000 strong. I have seen this figure mentioned elsewhere too in CAHWT circles. I would agree with it. The CAHWT march from the Central Bank for Budget Day was far smaller.

Joe, IMPACT opposed the march and did not attend, though there was support for it in parts of the ranks. They argued that their national conference had overwhelmingly passed Motions supporting the property tax. It was the only union that did not support the march, even if some provided very few marchers.


3. Joe - February 6, 2013

There is a context to IMPACT’s mealy mouthed approach to the current negotiations. The government’s proposals to hit weekend and evening rates of pay, and shift pay etc will not affect most IMPACT members. The people who will take the pay cut under these headings are nurses, gardaí, health care assistants etc – represented by INMO, PNA, GRA, SIPTU etc.
The government’s proposals are being formulated by white collar manager bureaucrats and IMPACT represents white collar management bureaucrats. And guess what, the government’s proposals are very soft on white collar manager bureaucrats.
That’s why the Front Line Alliance of INMO, PNA and the GRA has been resurrected – to defend frontline workers against this unprincipled alliance of the bureaucrats and their “union”.
I hope I’m not being too cynical or even workerist in the above analysis. Just writing what a lot of people are thinking and saying.


4. Paddy Healy - February 6, 2013

Prison Officers Join Gardai and Nurses to Defend Pay and Conditions by Industrial Action
From Paddy Healy Convener National Public Service Alliance 086-4183732

Trade unions and organisations representing more than 70,000 frontline staff in the public service have warned that they will take whatever collective action is necessary to protect their members’ income from proposed Government cuts under an extended Croke Park agreement.
The union representing prison officers has said it will not remain in talks on an extended Croke Park agreement if the process is only about attacking members’ premium payments and terms and conditions.
Meanwhile Members of three divisions of gardaí in Cork — Cork City, Cork West, and Cork North — also voted in favour of a work-to-rule, followed by a “blue flu” if the Government presses ahead with proposed cuts to garda wages and allowances

Wednesday, 6th February 2013
The Executive Committee , of the 24/7 Frontline Services Alliance, met this morning, Wednesday, 6th February 2013, to continue its ongoing review with regard to the talks on a possible extension to the Croke Park agreement.
The Committee unanimously reaffirmed its outright opposition to any measures, emerging from those talks, which would seek to reduce the income of its members.
The Committee also decided, in the context of initiating a campaign, against the current approach of government to these talks, to the following measures:
1. On next Tuesday, 12th February 2012, at 11.00 a.m., the Alliance will hold a press conference at which it will detail the potential impact, of the government’s current proposals, on the income of frontline staff.
2. A national meeting, of all Alliance activists, will take place on Monday, 18th February 2013, in Croke Park, to allow for more detailed consultation with these key activists on the measures currently arising from the government’s agenda.
3. The 24/7 Alliance is making a submission, to Mr. Brendan Howlin TD, Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform in which it will detail the impact of the measures, tabled by his department, on the income of frontline staff who must work on a 24/7, 365 day basis.
4. A nationwide lobbying campaign, of all TDs and Senators, will commence, starting this weekend, again to present them with this document presented to the Minister, and to ascertain their views on same.
Further steps in the campaign will be determined following feedback from members during this initial nationwide consultation phase.
The 24/7 Alliance also renewed its call, upon the government, through its officials, to radically alter their current approach to these very difficult discussions. Their current strategy will, without doubt, disproportionally hit the income of 24/7 workers as they are overtly seeking to reduce pay on Saturday, Sunday, night duty and evening shifts, as well as saying they want to further review allowances. Frontline staff, already under pressure to pay their bills, cannot afford any further attack upon their income.
The Alliance Executive Committee also restated their view that there can be no agreement, capable of being accepted by members, based upon the current approach of the management side which concentrates, in a disproportionate way, on the pay of frontline staff.
For further information contact:
John Redmond, General Secretary, AGSI 087 2464228
Neil Ward, Director of Communications, GRA 087 7762146
Liam Doran, General Secretary, INMO 087 2468532
Seamus Murphy, Deputy General Secretary, PNA 087 2646966
John Clinton, General Secretary, POA 087 6296113
Issued by Sheila Normanly, INMO Assistant to Media Relations Officer: 087 121 0179


Joe - February 8, 2013

As good a place as any to put this up.
Update to staff from government side in these negotiations:

“Week 3 – Update on Public Service Pay Talks from DPER

Communication in relation to the ongoing pay talks

Last week management, unions and associations from each sector continued to discuss how additional measures could help to deliver the savings that have been identified for each area and to deliver substantial productivity gains. That work continued this week, in parallel with central discussions to identify those savings would apply across all sectors. We consider that a broad combination of measures, some applying equally across the public service and some applying specifically within sectors, will be required to secure the necessary saving within the paybill over 3 years. It is only through a process of dialogue that all parties can influence any potential final outcome.

Achieving that result by way of negotiation presents both sides with very great challenges. The aim of concluding these discussions within the timeframe set out is very important to the Government’s fiscal timetable.

The Government has not entered into these discussions lightly. It has done so because there is a critical need to reduce the country’s expenditure; pay and pensions at 35% of the total expenditure cost must make a proportionate contribution to that goal. The Quarterly Economic Commentary published by the ESRI this week supports the position of the Government, by noting how important the contribution that can be made from the discussions on pay cost reductions and productivity are to the budgetary arithmetic if the State is to meet its fiscal targets over 2013 and 2014. We will need to conclude over the coming weeks, so that the necessary measures can be implemented in all sectors to secure savings later in 2013.

Remuneration and Industrial Relations Division

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

07 / 02 / 2013”

A couple of comments:
Will be fun over the next few weeks, watching the interunion politics in all this – nine to five bureaucrats vs frontline workers.
In general though, unions’ hand has been strengthened by the deal on the prmissory note! People are relaxing now – the country’s not broke any more so the pressure is off, we don’t have to take this from them any more!


smiffy - February 8, 2013

“nine to five bureaucrats vs frontline workers”

The level of solidarity with low-paid clerical staff is truly moving.


Joe - February 8, 2013

Smiffy, I’m 30 years in the Public Service this year. Been around a lot of very different workplaces and jobs and in just one union (a few different branches) in that time.
I am cynical, yes.
I would absolutely be in solidarity with low-paid clerical staff – but not so much with the higher paid bureaucrats. And I would be in solidarity with many frontline workers – but not with some manipulative male-dominated groups within the Front Line Alliance who have set up and “won” some scam-like arrangements over the years which mean they are on very high take home pay.
Cynical cos I know that it’s front line workers on low pay and low-paid clerical staff who will ultimately lose out most out of all this.
So cynical am I that I can come up with red top shorthand like “nine to five bureaucrats vs frontline workers”. Maybe I should leave the ps and get a job with the Herald?


LeftAtTheCross - February 8, 2013

“Maybe I should leave the ps and get a job with the Herald?”

You don’t want that Joe, I believe the few remaining staff there have just recently been forced to take a 20% pay cut.


smiffy - February 8, 2013

‘Cynical cos I know that it’s front line workers on low pay and low-paid clerical staff who will ultimately lose out most out of all this.’

Exactly. And apologies for being a bit sharp with the reply. But I really think that the division between ‘frontline’ and ‘non-frontline’ workers in the public service serves no one except the government, Sunday Independent and fellow-travellers. A low-paid clerical worker can be described as a ‘bureaucrat’. A hospital consultant on hundreds of thousands of euro can be described as a ‘frontline worker’. That’s why I bristle at the use of those terms in the current context.


Joe - February 8, 2013

No bother Smiffy. Bureaucrats and frontliners will unite 2moro under the CLR banner – you have that banner you promised us ready, WBS? Or what was agreed in the end – do we all wear our earrings?


WorldbyStorm - February 8, 2013

Earrings it is then… 🙂


revolutionaryprogramme - February 8, 2013

What we are seeing is a generalised attack on all working people and a massive transfer of wealth to our capitalist rulers. This sniping between different sections of the workers movement over who has taken more cuts in some obscene race to the bottom only serves the interests of the parasites who run our society.


5. Jim Monaghan - February 7, 2013

Can I point out that in Winconsin the Republicans excepted the Fire Brigade and the cops from t he ant TU binge. They will need the gardai to inforce austerity. In fact a lot of the special pleading by the Gardai includes this.


6. revolutionaryprogramme - February 7, 2013
7. revolutionaryprogramme - February 7, 2013
8. http://tinyurl.com/fblebruce18546 - February 7, 2013

The following blog post, “Join the March on Saturday next, Feb 9,-even
if you have no confidence in union leaders—then keep the
movement going if/when ICTU leaders retreat! The Cedar Lounge Revolution” illustrates the fact that you understand everything that you are speaking about!
I entirely am in agreement. Many thanks ,Rex


9. D_D - February 8, 2013

The following statement is circulating and is planned to go out from some shop stewards and union reps. I have not seen it surface in the meejia yet.


The leaders of the ICTU are presenting the demonstration on February 9th as being solely directed at the EU and the ECB. Some have gone out of their way to say it is not directed at the Fine Gael-Labour government.
We, the undersigned, however will be marching to demand BOTH the lifting of debt burden and an end to the austerity policies of the Irish government.
We believe that the union leaders should be:
· Proclaiming their opposition to the property taxes which will take €500 million out of, the pockets of low and middle income earners mainly.
· Opposing the cutbacks in public spending that have led to the loss of 30,000 jobs and reduced services.
· Organising against attempts to reduce public service pensions, allowances or conditions of work.
We believe that the reason why so many union leaders have been reluctant to fight the government with any real determination is that they are members of the Labour Party.
We call for an end to all union funding of Labour Party and urge members of relevant unions to notify their head offices of their desire to cease making a contribution from their dues to this party.
Finally, we believe that it is time to return to proper, real unions that stand up for their members.
We call for a withdrawal from the current round of talk designed to worsen the already draconian terms of the Croke park agreement.


10. D_D - February 8, 2013

Actually I thought David Begg was firmer than usual on ‘Morning Ireland’ this morning. His analogy was adaquate to the moment: the march was proceeding because the burden had been lifted with one car jack when a big crane was needed to even begin to lift the debt burden from people.

BTW I think one paragraph in the front page coverage of the debt deal in today’s Irish Times captures the real and material extent of the ‘relief’ for ordinary people. That is that the cuts and taxes necessary to reduce the deficit to 3% by 2015 (€4-5 billion?) will be reduced by €1 billion. Big deal! So, on top of the awful austerity since 2008 we are to have more and extra austerity but minus a bit.

‘The Taoiseach said the agreement would bring the country €1 billion closer to attaining our 3 per cent deficit target by 2015. “This means that the expenditure reductions and tax increases will be of the order of €1 billion less to meet the 3 per cent deficit target,” he said.’



revolutionaryprogramme - February 8, 2013

I am sure I heard Noonan in a radio interview yesterday say that the 1 billion was to come off the projected 7 billion in “fiscal readjustment” due over the next three years. I however can’t find a reference for this – anyone else hear him say this?


CMK - February 8, 2013

RTE reporting that the billion ‘saved’ this year (2013) will have to be paid out IMMEDIATELY!! to an Anglo bondholder who has a bond due to mature in 2015. That and FF on top in the polls would be enough to send you to drink or a one way ticket out of here. I don’t know how you stick it here, RP. But, apparently, it will a billion ‘saved’ in 2014 and 2015. I think if they’re going to crow about this they need to be pushed, very hard, to pass on that ‘saving’ to workers. And that means cancelling the property tax and the water charges. Surely they still don’t need the revenue now that they have saved a billion a year?


LeftAtTheCross - February 8, 2013

I suspect that €1bn will never be seen again. Or if it is it will be used to ‘improve competitiveness’ by reducing business taxes, or in ‘job creation’ measures which subsidise business. Certainly it won’t be used to ease the burden on working people or to improve the welfare system for the benefit of those relying on it.


CMK - February 8, 2013

Exactly, so you’d wonder why Labour are crowing about it. Unless it translates into something concrete for ordinary working people it’s not worth a damn. The triumphalism on display is entirely hollow and I think it will come back to haunt many now indulging in it.


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