Pay negotiations begin
Negotiations on a possible extension to the Lansdowne Road agreement get under way today with an economic briefing on the expected exchequer position over the next two or three years.
There are four main groups directly involved in the talks. These are the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), the ICTU Public Services Committee, officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) and associations representing Gardaí and military personnel.
The talks will be facilitated by the WRC.
The ICTU Public Services Committee (PSC) represents trade unions with members in the public sector.
Its lead negotiators are the PSC officers, who are elected by all the unions on the committee. These are Shay Cody (IMPACT), Sheila Nunan (INTO), Gene Mealy (SIPTU) and Tom Geraghty (PSEU).
The associations representing Gardaí and soldiers include the GRA, AGSI and PDFORRA. These organisations are currently banned by law from affiliating to ICTU a policy that unions oppose. A small number of minor associations that choose to stay out of ICTU will also be on hand for consultation.
DPER officials represent and report to the Minister who, in turn, will ultimately need full cabinet approval if there is an agreed outcome to the talks. A potential deal will also require broad political support inside and outside of Government.
Most of the negotiating is done by small teams drawn from one or more of these groups. Most commonly ICTU and DPER lead officials talk directly, or through senior WRC staff, before reporting back to their full groupings.
Occasionally, representatives from various Government departments – or union officials with specific expertise – might be deployed to inform discussions on sector-specific issues.
Date: Monday, 22 May 17