Government to invite public service unions for talks on 'anomalies' in Lansdowne Road Agreement

SIPTU has deferred its planned ballot of public service members

Government to invite public service unions for talks on 'anomalies' in Lansdowne Road Agreement

Paschal Donohoe at a press briefing in Government Buildings | Image: RollingNews.ie

Trade unions have welcomed an invite by the Government to discuss the implications of the recent Garda pay recommendations.

SIPTU has deferred its planned public service ballot in the wake of the development.

The Labour Court recommendations to Garda associations sparked increased calls for fresh negotiations on public sector pay, despite the Lansdowne Road Agreement having only come into effect earlier this year.

Ministers have previously insisted the Garda deal is within the existing agreement, but ICTU earlier this month set a deadline of two weeks for Government to propose new discussions.

Today, Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe said his department will invite groups to talks which "will seek to address anomalies arising from the recent recommendations issued by the Labour Court in relation to the Industrial Relations disputes with members of An Garda Síochána".  

The discussions are expected to conclude by the end of January.

SIPTU Vice-President Gene Mealy said: “The Minister has confirmed that these discussions will conclude before the end of January and that negotiations on a successor collective agreement will follow shortly thereafter.

"In light of this invitation and commitment, the national officers of SIPTU have decided to defer the proposed ballot of union members in the public service for industrial action which was planned to commence in the coming days.”

ICTU Public Services Committee (PSC) also welcomed the move, saying it "believes these discussions will provide a platform to seek improvements in the terms of the Lansdowne Road Agreement".

In a statement, the Department of Public Expenditure said the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) is due to deliver its initial report in the first half of 2017.

"The Minister confirmed that once this report is available, the Government intends to initiate negotiations on a successor Collective Agreement ahead of Budget 2018 considerations. These negotiations will deal with the full range of issues including productivity, reform and the issue of affordable increases in pay," the statement says.

ICTU added it is also engaging with the PSPC.

Minister Donohoe stressed is sticking by his timetable that there will not be further pay talks on a successor deal until later next year: