Home > Croke Park Deal, Education, IOT, Universities > Lansdown Rd Agreement Would Further Damage Education, Health and All Public Services

Lansdown Rd Agreement Would Further Damage Education, Health and All Public Services

Campaign Against Lansdowne Rd Agreement–National Public Service Alliance Convener: Paddy Healy 086-4183732

VOTING STRIKE BY IMPACT MEMBERSHIP ON LANSDOWNE RD

Less Than 1 in 3 (29%) Voted for Agreement

Over 60% Did Not Vote

 The Impact Leadership trumpeted the 75% to 25% vote in favour of the Lansdowne Rd Agreement. But it failed to mention that over 60% of the membership did not vote and only 29% of the membership supported the Agreement. This was in spite of the deployment of the full complement of union officials throughout the country during the ballot to put a spin on a disastrous agreement.  As shown below, the members were seriously misled on very important matters by the IMPACT leadership.

The voting strike by the majority of members shows growing lack of confidence in the leadership by members. Some branches were not misled and the roll of honour of “no” voting branches is carried below. There was a strong “no” vote in other branches also. However the overall response of members was the Voting Strike. This was particularly strong in some very large Dublin Branches.

Full Result

Membership   c.59,000      Total Poll    22,830   %Poll 39%   % Yes of Membership 29

% of Those who Voted            Yes  75%      No 25%

Roll Of Honour     IMPACT Branches Which Voted NO To Lansdowne Rd Agreement

(% of those who voted)   Branch

YES                    NO             %Yes          %NO

TIPPERARY South HSE                     62                      257              19%             81%

Primary Sch. Inspectors                     10                     41                20%              80%

Irish Youth Justice                             18                     66                 21                 79%

Road Safety  Auth                           28                      47                 37%              63%

Dun Laoire/Rathdown                     65                    203               24%               76%

GVO Professional                           22                       25                 47%             53%

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IMPACT FURTHER MISINFORMS MEMBERS 

IMPACT has also told branch secretaries that there was no expectation that additional hours would cease with the expiry of Haddington Rd on July1, 2016.IMPACT makes a false comparison with a clause in Croke Park 1. As Haddington RD was in substitution for EMERGENCY LEGISLATION, that comparison  is not valid. TUI Leaders do not agree with the IMPACT position on expiry of additional hours. Most teachers at second level and lecturers  in Third Level Institutes of Technology, intend to retain Haddington Rd until July 1, 2016 and to drop the additional hours on that date before resuming negotiations.

This is in addition to the misinformation on Section 2B, of FEMPI carried below

Paddy

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Government retains power to unilaterally cut pay and worsen working conditions

IMPACT MISINFORMS MEMBERS

According to IMPACT, “In October 2014, Section 2B of the FEMPI legislation was deleted.” http://www.impact.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/IMPEducationReport2013-15.pdf (p. 7)

Just over two years ago, the majority of public sector workers voted to reject Croke Park 2. (‘Croke Park II rejected as two major unions vote No’, rte.ie, 17 April 2013) Following the rejection, a bit of tweaking of Croke Park 2 produced the Haddington Road Agreement (HRA). In case union members were minded to reject HRA, the Government included a section in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act (FEMPI Act) that would enable them to unilaterally (i.e. without our agreement) cut our pay and worsen our working conditions. This was Section 2B, passed in the Dáil in May 2013.

The only way to avoid the consequences of Section 2B, to avoid being ‘FEM-peed’, was for unions to vote in favour of a collective agreement, HRA, and register our acceptance of the agreement with the Labour Relations Commission. Some unions resisted HRA but ultimately the vast majority signed up under the threat of Section 2B. There was no end of rhetoric at the ICTU biennial conference in Belfast in July 2013 about the injustice of FEMPI, in particular Section 2B. An emergency motion was passed at the conference calling for a “vigorous and robust campaign” to repeal FEMPI. http://www.ictu.ie/press/2013/07/04/congress-to-mount-campaign-for-repeal-of-emergency-fempi-legislation/

No such campaign was ever launched but in October of 2014, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, announced that Section 2B would be deleted. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/brendan-howlin-to-begin-unwinding-legislation-on-pay-cuts-1.1981212 The unions welcomed Howlin’s move. For example, the INMO described it as “very welcome.” https://www.inmo.ie/Article/PrintArticle/12140

However, other unions appear to claim that Howlin’s stated intention to delete Section 2B has actually been carried out. According to IMPACT, “In October 2014, Section 2B of the FEMPI legislation was deleted.” http://www.impact.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/IMPEducationReport2013-15.pdf (p. 7) In his speech to ASTI Annual Convention in April 2015, General Secretary Pat King claimed that “the most offensive section of FEMPI, Section 2B, was removed in October 2014.” http://www.asti.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/Documents/Convention/GS_Address_for_issue_01.pdf

http://www.educationmatters.ie/em_news/asti-chief-describes-a-torrid-seven-years/

Has Section 2B actually been deleted or removed? The Irish Statute Book shows that Section 2B is still in place: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2013/en/act/pub/0018/sec0002.html If it has not yet been deleted or removed (as of July 2015), when might this happen? From our research, we have discovered that Section 2B is not scheduled for deletion until 1st October 2015 at the earliest. This is the scheduled date for the commencement of the Workplace Relations Act 2015, Section 86(3) of which provides for the deletion of Section 2B of FEMPI. http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/takes/dail2015062400032?opendocument

We can conclude, then, that as unions are voting on the Lansdowne Road Agreement up until September/October (for ASTI, TUI), the Government is retaining the power to unilaterally cut our pay and worsen our working conditions at least until October 2015. Could the threat of FEMPI be used once again against the remaining No unions at that stage?

Mark Walshe, ASTI Standing Committee (personal capacity)

Paddy Healy, Former President of the TUI

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From Paddy Healy, Former President, TUI, CONVENER National Public Service Alliance against Lansdowne Rd Agreement,

The following Unions, 5 in all, have now recommended a “No” vote to Lansdowne Rd—Teachers Union of Ireland, Irish Medical Organisation, OPATSI (Plasterers Union), Association of Higher Civil Servants, Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI)

NB  Due to TUI Motion passed at ICTU Biennial Congress 2003, individual unions cannot be compelled by an ICTU majority to continue additional hours, shorter holidays or additional duties.

Individual unions may continue with existing agreement (Haddington RD Agreement) until it expires on July 1, 2016. The additional hours and duties will then expire. Negotiations can then be sought with the new government.-PH

Irish Independent

The powerful, 23-member Standing  Committee of the Association  of  Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) is recommending a  “no” vote in a ballot of members, expected to take place in the autumn

The decision, taken at a meeting of the Standing Committee today, will be considered by the ASTI 180-member  executive in late Augusts/early September, which  will take a final decision on the recommendation to be put to members.

The other union representing  teachers at second-level, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), is recommending rejection of the  deal, while the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) is urging a “yes” vote.

From Newstalk

Higher Civil and Public Servants union recommends members to reject the Lansdowne Road Agreement

The Executive Committee of the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants decided unanimously on Monday to recommend its 2,850 members vote against the pay deal

The Union has called on its members to reject the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

Under the proposals, public servants are to receive an income boost of €2000 euro.

In a statement on Monday evening, the union says the proposals ‘actively discriminate’ against their members in terms of the final outcome, which its labelled ‘grossly unfair’.

It goes on to say they union are now considering a ‘range of options’, including industrial action.

TUI,  OPATSI (the plasterers union) and IMO (medical doctors trade union) have recommended rejection of the proposed agreement.

   this Agreement is Imposed by ICTU, extra hours, reduced annual leave, recruiting restrictions, casualisation etc existing cuts,  will continue for 3 more years” 

The pay rise is a pittance, has nothing to do with “restoration” and is less than that being claimed by trade unions representing comparable grades in private sector.

ICTU CANNOT COERCE INDIVIDUAL UNIONS to accept the Deal!

Short Links         Vote NO in  INTO   http://wp.me/pKzXa-st

Some General Secretaries are suggesting to members that they can be outvoted on Lansdowne RD by a vote at a special Congress of ICTU or by an aggregate vote of all ICTU UNIONS

NOT TRUE!  Don’t be Pressurised!

AT the ICTU Biennial Congress in 2003 the TUI tabled the following motion:

This Conference respects the integrity of each union or group of unions in both the negotiation of the conditions of service of their members and of the decision-making process in relation to any such negotiation.

This Conference directs the Executive Council to respect these principles in any future negotiations towards any proposed National Agreements and to utilise approaches such as the local bargaining clause in the PCW in order to implement such principles.

The motion was passed and never overturned but an attempt is being made to forget it!

As the Lansdowe Rd Areement requires additional hours to be worked for an additional two years and reduced holidays for many, it comes within the remit of the ICTU motion.

As then vice president of TUI, I initiated the motion at TUI executive. Senior official, Peter McMenamin proposed it at ICTU.—————————————————————————————————————————————-

UNIONS CAN OPT TO CONTINUE TO ADHERE TO CURRENT AGREEMENTS WHICH EXPIRE IN JULY 2016 (1 year away)

These agreements are Registered at the Labour Relations Commission (not with Labour Court). ICTU is not a party to these agreements as it is not a trade union but a convening centre for trade unions. The individual public sector union and the specific public service employer (eg HSE, Institutes of Technology, Government Department) are the parties to the agreement. Only the parties to an Agreement can break it.

When these Agreements expire on July 1, 2016, Unions will be in a much stronger negotiating position at that time.

The new private sector agreements for 2015 will then be in place. The biggest craft union,TEEU, is claiming 5%.

PS unions can then claim the increases its traditional analogues(comparators) in private sector have achieved and restoration of pay cuts as well.

Copies of the agreements are in trade union head offices.  Some general secretaries are trying to bury them. PERSIST WITH YOUR REQUEST! 

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Draft Discussion Document-Paddy Healy       TO BE REVISED

The Lansdowne RD Agreement represents a further abject capitulation by the ICTU to the austerity policies of successive governments. It is based on the assumption that only a tiny sum of money is available over the next 3 years to restore public service pay and pensions and public services.

On this basis totally inadequate pay increases are proposed even for the most lowly paid and additional hours and duties which would expire in 12 months time under the existing agreement are continued for a further two years. There is not a single mention in the agreement of increases to pensions in payment which were also cut under the two FEMPI ACTS. The shortages of staff, and concomitant severe intensity of work, which are damaging all our public services and undermining safety of human beings in our hospitals are to continue.

No “Restoration”

It is arguable that there is no net restoration of pay in the agreement because the proposed increases are the same or less than those occurring in comparable private sector employments  particularly in areas where there were no pay cuts. Though price inflation has been low, it has been greater than the proposed increases since the cuts. Inflation Figures: 2011, 2.59%; 2012, 1.72%; 2013, 0.5%, 2014, 0.2%.   Compounded (2011to 2014) 10.7%

“IBEC, the group that represents Irish businesses, will today publish a study covering hundreds of companies which suggests the average pay increase in private sector will be 2pc- – – The Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union told the Irish Independent its strategy for the new year will be to lodge claims for 5pc increases over 12 months”                                  Irish Independent June 6/2015

ICTU Colluding With Increasing Inequity in Society

ICTU accepts that only 536million or c300 million after tax, is available over the next three years to improve pay.   There are c.300, 000 public servants

This is a blatant falsehood to which ICTU has subscribed.

HUGE RISE IN FINANCIAL ASSETS OF SUPER-RICH CONFIRMED BY CSO

Increase in Financial Assets from the 2008 (“Bust”) to 2013 was 93 billion or an increase 51% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) . There has been further annual increases since then.( as indicated by Sunday Times Rich List Last Sunday)

These Assets have more than doubled. There is no wealth tax on these massive gains.

In 2013 Net Financial Assets of Households were 26 Billion Euro above 2006 peak “boom” level.

The super-rich are now richer than they were at the height of the boom

Incomes of Super-Rich

Top 5%  108,250   Total Income €20,122 m  Aveage Income €185,885   Revenue  €7,145 m (Tax + PRSI+USC)36%  Average After Tax INCOME               €120,000  PQ Reply Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD 2013

In 2012 the top 5%(108,250) of income recipients had a total income of  over 20 Billion and an average annual income of 189 thousand Euro each. When PRSI is excluded they pay less than 30% of their entire income in income tax. Of these, the top 10,000 have an average income of 595,000 euro each. There are no public servants in this group.

Instead of increasing income and imposing wealth tax on these fabulously rich people, Michael Noonan gave each of them 747 euro in tax relief or a total of  81 million Euro in the last Budget

The reason that only small amounts of money are available to restore pay and pension cuts is that successive governments have refused to tax the assets of the very rich and to tax adequately their incomes.

In addition the state is spending c.8 billion per year paying interest on the national debt. This debt was accumulated through borrowing money to pay off huge investors in failed banks and borrowing to provide necessary public services rather than taxing the assets and incomes of the very rich when transactional property revenues dried up.

For a person on the lower marginal rate of tax a pay increase of 1000 euro per year amounts to less than 700 euro after tax, PRSI, USC,and pension contribution is deducted. This is less than the 747 Euro which the Government gave to all those earning from 80,000 to 2 million per year in the last budget.

And the Government has promised to give them at least the same again in the coming budget through tax cuts! 

For a person on the higher marginal rate of tax an increase of 1000 Euro will amount to less than 600 Euro after all deductions and about 11Euro per week.

This gross unfairness in government policy is also reflected in the fact that when all taxes, including VAT and excise is taken into account the poorest 10%  of the populatio pay the highest proportion of their income in tax according to CSO!!!

Through this agreement ICTU is continuing its support for policies, which are grossly unfair to public servants and to the poor.

ICTU collaborated with totally irresponsible extreme capitalist policies, including privatisations and right-wing income tax cutting, during the boom. It was represented on the Board of Directors of the Central Bank which allowed banks to borrow, and to lend out, an unprecedented additional 50% of GDP  between 2003 and 2007. It is now collaborating with grossly unfair austerity policies in the recession.

Unions are required to engage with all government plans for change (wrongly called reforms) and to submit to binding arbitration on a far wider range of issues than under Haddington Rd Agreement even if the issues are professional issues rather than industrial relations issues. This means that industrial action is banned in any conceivable circumstance. For example, the days of action on the JUNIOR CYCLE issue would have been banned if Lansdowne Rd Agreement had been in place.

The matters with which local authority workers have to engage subject to binding arbitration of disputes include: “in the Local Government Sector the Action Programme for Effective Local Government Putting

People First; and Irish Water Programme;”

Because of the contentious issue of water charging and water metering, colleagues in Local government may wish to explain to us the possible meaning of this clause of the Agreement.

Conclusion

Our campaign to defeat the Lansdowne RD Agreement is a campaign against gross unfairness to public servants ,serving and retired, both in pay and pensions and in working conditions including extra hours of work. It is a campaign against the damage being done to our public services by recruitment embargoes and other cuts. It is a campaign against continued casualisation of work. It is a campaign against discrimination against recent entrants in pay and pension schemes. It is a campaign against collusion with this unfairness to public servants and with austerity generally by ICTU including the protection of the huge assets and incomes of the rich and the infliction of deprivation on the poor.

We seek fair pay rises including restoration of pay and pensions and the withdrawal of extra working hours and extra duties imposed under Haddington Road and Croke Park 1

We have always advocated greater percentage increases for the lowly paid and continue to do so. The current increases for the lowly paid are grossly inadequate.

We call for the immediate and complete repeal of FEMPI 1 and FEMPI 2

We are heartened by the recommendation of Teachers Union of Ireland, OPATSI the plasterers union and the Irish Medical Orgaisation to  members to vote against this Agreement.

Let us begin the campaign.

 Agreements Registered With LRC UNDER FEPMI ACT 2013

Some public service trade union officials are seeking to mislead members into believing that  AGREEMENTS between the Union and its specific public service employer have not been regitered at the Labour Relations Commission. This is designed to deflect arguments to the effect that a better option for members would be to reject Lansdowne RD and await the expiry of the registered agreement in July 2016 foregoing the tiny pay rise in the proposed agreement. The extra hours and duties would then disappear and the union would be in much more powerful position to negotiate pay and hours.

These agreements registered at the LRC  do exist and any union member is entitle to get a copy from union head office.

Below is the relevant section of FEMPI ACT 2013

7.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section and section 8, for the period of 3 years beginning on 1 July 2013— (a) no increment shall be awarded to a public servant; and (b) the operation of the pay scale that applies in respect of a public servant shall stand suspended, 10 and with the effect that— (i) the point on that pay scale that shall be applicable in respect of a public servant on 1 July 2016 shall be that which was applicable on 1 July 2013 in respect of him or her, and  (ii) the operation of that pay scale, on and from 1 July 2016, shall be by reference to service of the public servant on and from 1 July 2016, but this is subject to subsection (2). (2) Subsection (1)(b)(ii) does not operate to exclude for the purpose of the operation of the pay scale so much of the service of the 20 public servant, before 1 July 2013, as would have been reckoned for the purpose of the next immediate increment that, but for the suspension of the pay scale by virtue of subsection (1), would have fallen to be awarded to him or her on or after 1 July 2013. (3) The reference in subsection (1) to the pay scale that is applic- 25 able in respect of a public servant (being a public servant to whom the amendment hereafter mentioned relates) is a reference to that pay scale as it stands adjusted by virtue or in consequence of the amendment of the Act of 2009 made by section 2. (4) For the avoidance of doubt, subsection (1) has effect in 30 relation to a pay scale that, in consequence of a public servant’s appointment or promotion to a position after 1 July 2013 (but before 1 July 2016), falls to be applied subsequent to 1 July 2013 as it has effect in relation to a pay scale that applies to a public servant on 1 July 2013, but with the substitution in that subsection for the refer- 35 ence to 1 July 2013 (where it secondly occurs) of a reference to the date of such appointment or promotion of the public servant. (5) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding subsections of this section, subsection (1) shall— (a) apply to a public servant only to the extent specified in the 40 agreement, or (b) apply to a public servant with such modifications as are specified in the agreement, to whom a collective agreement relates and which agreement— (i) for the time being stands registered with the Labour  Relations Commission for the purposes of this section, and  Pay scales: suspension, subject to exceptions, for certain period. Exemption, etc., from operation of section 7 in certain circumstances. Certain pension rights not affected. (ii) provides for the application to such a public servant of subsection (1) in the manner described in paragraph (a) or (b), as the case may be.

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Croke Park Deal And academic Freedom

If we allowed Croke Park Deal to be imposed on us, managerialist developments, undermining of university autonomy, weakening of tenure and academic freedom and destruction of scholarship would be immeasurably accelerated. The processes described by Tom Garvin and Jim McKernan would become rampant.
For more by respected University Academics and the challenges to academic freedom

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  1. January 18, 2011 at 6:52 am

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