It may come as a surprise to union members but the government and the trade union general secretaries have now revealed that further pay cuts are in fact provided for under the provisions of the Croke Park agreement.
The Irish Independent of 23rd October reported that the department of finance "is strongly considering reducing wage levels for all new recruits to the public sector by a flat 10pc in the Budget". See this link:
Pay cuts for all new entrants are in fact provided for under the Croke Park agreement as it only applies to "serving public servants" at the time of the agreement:
Public Service Pay Policy (from text of Cork Park agreement)
Section 15. There will be no further reductions in the pay rates of SERVING public servants for the lifetime of this Agreement. This commitment is subject to compliance with the terms of this Agreement.
Of course, with the government plan to cut 16,000 more public service jobs (supported by the trade union general secretaries) there will hardly be any new entrants with pay to cut. So why would the Department of Finance be so interested in this proposal? Well this is clearly a strategy to prepare for the next round of pay cuts for all public servants - not in the forthcoming budget but in 2011. For 2010, the government wants to implement the massive downgrading of the conditions of service of public servants under Croke Park - a massive prize to be bagged with wllling collaboration from the union general secretaries.
The ESRI and many others are already calling for further public pay cuts in 2011. If new entrants have taken a 10% pay cut in 2010 (the pensions of new entrants were already cut by 15% in the Croke Park agreement) then how can existing public servants justify their pay and pension rates? You can already hear the propaganda and the media crescendo...
As long as the the union general secretaries continue to appease the government and stifle any protest then the bonfire of public services and servants will grow.