Head of SIPTU says Government should 'look at an adjustment' to Lansdowne Road Agreement

A new report suggests around half of employment law professionals are dissatisfied with how the WRC handles disputes

Head of SIPTU says Government should 'look at an adjustment' to Lansdowne Road Agreement

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The Government should consider 'adjusting' the Lansdowne Road Agreement, according to SIPTU President Jack O'Connor.

He says the economic situation has changed since the deal was struck last year.

It comes amid a series of work disputes - with gardaí planning industrial action and Dublin Bus drivers considering a new wage offer.

Earlier this year, Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe said the Lansdowne Road deal is 'the only game in town'.

The public sector pay deal is to be in place until September 2018.

Today, Minister Donohoe warned gardaí they will have to come to an agreement on pay that is within the agreement.

He said that anything else would lead to a domino effect that he cannot allow happen, adding that the fund of money available is for all public servants and to improve services for people.

Minister Donohoe says affordable wage growth is vital and gardaí need to appreciate that.

"Just as the guards understandably are raising an issue that's important for their members, what I need to recognise is the full breadth of need within our public service, to make sure we can meet the wage needs of everybody within our public services," he argued.

However, SIPTU's Jack O'Connor says it is time for the Government to reconsider the agreement.

"We have had the precedent in the past - when circumstances either deteriorated or improved beyond the level that could be reasonably expected at the time the agreement was negotiated - that there would be some adjustment to it," he explained on Newstalk Breakfast.

"I'm saying it would be a good policy approach on the part of the Government to look at an adjustment to the agreement."

He did, however, suggest that "the Government is restricted by the absurd fiscal rules which the country is required to comply with. The fiscal rules are preventing [...] governments all over Europe from investing in their economies to enable them to grow".

Meanwhile, a new report suggests around half of employment law professionals are dissatisfied with how the Workplace Relations Commission handles disputes.

The survey published today by the Employment Law Association of Ireland (ELAI) shows they are frustrated with processing times and inconsistencies in the rulings.

The survey comes a year after the new two-tier system was introduced to streamline industrial disputes.

The new system involves both the WRC and the Labour Court.

However, the survey reveals that there are scheduling issues and discrepancies with hearing formats.

Researcher Dr Brian Barry from the ELAI explains why the inconsistencies are such a problem.

"It is very difficult to advice a user of the service how the adjudication will run if different adjudicators run hearings in different ways," he explained.