ALIGN’s Public Sector Pay Deal MonitorPosted on May 15, 2011 by Gerald Flynn
ALIGN PUBLIC SECTOR PAY DEAL MONITOR
ICTU Public Service Committee
No. of public service members
Key points to watch
|SIPTU – general||72,000||Accept||25.2%||In Favour||May swing outcome|
|IMPACT – public service||60,000||Accept||21.0%||In Favour||Shifted position as predicted|
|INMO – nurses||38,000||Reject||13.3%||Against||Services concerns but no escalation|
|INTO – teachers||32,000||Accept||11.2%||In Favour|
|ASTI – teachers||18,100||Reject||6.4%||Against||Threat to opt-out over majority vote|
|TUI – teachers||13,000||Reject||4.6%||Against||May quit ICTU|
|CPSU- civil service||13,000||Reject||4.6%||Against|
|PSEU – civil service||12,000||Accept||4.2%||In Favour|
|IMO – doctors||5,400||-||1.9%||In Favour||by committee|
|AHCPS- civil service||3,200||Accept||1.1%||In Favour|
|Unite – general||3,100||Reject||1.1%||Against|
|Prison Officers||3,400||Reject||1.2%||Against||4-to-1 reject|
|UCATT – craft||2,500||Accept||0.9%|
|Medical Lab. Scientists||1,800||Accept||0.75%||In Favour|
|TEEU – craft||1,100||Reject||0.38%||Against|
|Batu – craft||1,000||-||0.35%|
|OPATSI – craft||400||Reject||0.14%||Against|
Non-ICTU Public Service Bodies
|Garda Rep. Assoc.||10,500||In Favour||Two-thirds back deal|
|Psychiatric Nurses Assoc.||6,500||Seeking clarification||Overtime a big issue|
|Assoc. Garda Sergeants/ Inspectors||2,000||Accept||In Favour||4-to-1 back deal|
|PDFORRA||8,000||Reject||Against||56% vote ’No’|
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While the second-level teachers were slow to embrace the protections offered, it has taken the 2,100-member Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) over a year (May 2011) to be convinced to back the public service agreement. The union’s executive agreed to provide an additional hour’s tuition or other duties in exchange for assurances over aspects of what they refer to as ‘academic freedom’.
Five months after the initial agreement was negotiated, (25th August) the rank-and-file Garda body, though not an ICTU-affiliate, voted by 75% in favour despite the initial hostility expressed by the Garda Representative Association’s executive to the proposals.
The Public Service Committee voted by 66:34 [1,899 in favour out of 2,885 votes cast] to back the agreement as forecast for the past six weeks but getting participation from all of the nine trades unions whose members voted against it.
Speedy and effective implementation will be a major hurdle for public service management and for union leaders to bring their members with them.
The public sector pay and performance deal will have a comfortable 60:40 majority when the formal vote is taken by the Irish Congress of Trades Unions next Tuesday (15th June).
The decision by the SIPTU and IMPACT members, the two largest public sector unions, to vote by two-to-one and three-to-one respectively in favour ( 11th June) ensures that the deal will be adopted by the ICTU Public Services Committee next week. The issue now is whether public service management has prepared effectively for a speedy and efficient implementation.
The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (1st June) strongly backed the pay terms though the work changes/ reforms may not affect them as much as other, ICTU-affiliated public service employees.
The main nurses’ union, the INMO voted ( 28th May) by four-to-one against the pay deal in line with their executives’ recommendation but they are likely to work the reforms when the deal is expected to be ratified in mid-June but will focus on staffing levels.
The 1,800 medical laboratory technicinas ( a SIPTU affiliate) have backed the pay deal while about 500 craft workers, who are members of the TEEU electricians’ union, voted (28th May) by two-to-one to reject the terms as recommended by the union’s executive. Likewise the Unite public sector members have rejected the terms in line with the union’s recommendation which consistently has opposed centralised national pay deals.
The Irish Medical Organisation did not have a members’ ballot as many are self-employed contractors and, instead, its four ‘craft committees’ made the decision (20th May) to back the proposed agreement.
The small IFUT university lecturers’ union has voted about two-to-one against the terms (24th May) as recommended by its executive . The result is along the lines of the three larger teachers’ unions.
The three main teachers’ unions have completed their ballots with the two second-level teacher groups voting against and the INTO primary teachers in favour (21st May). Like all other ballots so far, the members have confirmed the position of their executives making it even more likely that the public services ICTU committee will vote by nearly two to one in support of ’Croke Park’ acceptance.
The ASTI seems less keen on going on its own against the deal but the TUI may have to eat its words or else quit Congress to retain credibility.
The vote by the CPSU lower-skill civil servants to reject (12th May) is in line with their protests and Passport/Social Welfare Office disruption earlier in the year. They are trying to get the pay cuts restored before the end of this year but are likely to abide by any majority ICTU public service committee decision.
The odds of acceptance have significantly increased with the change of position by IMPACT’s executive (6th May) recommending acceptance. That means that over 64% of the ICTU public service voting strength is now backing the ‘Croke Park’ proposals.
The government’s U-turn on addressing public service pension increases and costs has helped swing the largest public service union – IMPACT – which represents fire fighters and refuse collectors to County managers and top-level HSE management.
The PSEU middle-grade civil servants have produced the first ballot result (5th May) with a two-to-one in favour as recommended by the union’s executive. It is a strongly ‘pro-partnership’ union. Their senior colleagues in the AHCPS have also voted in favour (7th May)by a large majority.
Public service committee unions have revised the weighting for each union’s voting strength (4th May) . It is generally one vote for every 100 public service employees in their ranks. They will be generally in proportion with their public sector members ratio which ranges from one-tenth of Unite; one-third of SIPTU; and about 90% of IMPACT members.
SIPTU’s recommendation to accept the pay deal (13th April ) tilts the balance back towards possible acceptance with the six unions backing the deal having 43.4% of the total vote. The eight ICTU unions recommending rejection have a 31% share of the members. IMPACT, with 21%, is still formally staying neutral after the shock refusal of its executive to back acceptance last Thursday (8th April ) but its leadership to trying to persuade the union executive to soften its opposition.
SIPTU’s lower-skill members are vulnerable to outsourcing of support services and the deal’s accords on future outsourcing options seems to have swung its executive.
The INMO nurses’ executive decision to recommend rejection (April 13th ) is a serious setback as their members already have been working 5 over 7 days shift rosters and have adopted more flexible working practices than most IMPACT or SIPTU members.
No surprise that the CPSU executive (lower-skill civil servants) are opposing the deal (April 12th) despite their Passport Office disruptions last month having widened the gulf between the general public and citizens against public sector unions.