Impact CEC rejects Public Sector Agreement

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In a major setback for the government the executive of Impact, the country’s largest public sector union has rejected the deal which was negotiated last week.

Impact has consistently voted for the various partnership agreements and its general secretary Peter McLoone was the main architect of the deal. This vote came as a surprise with even delegates to the CEC who planned to vote no predicting a positive recommendation. The vote reflects the anger at the blank cheque nature of the deal by the Impact rank and file activists who would see themselves as being pragmatic rather than principled in a political sense.

However the Union leadership has already begun to spin the vote with Shay Cody claiming that opposition to the deal is primarily based on the lack of a government commitment to restore paycuts. Of much more concern to Impact members and workers across the public sector are the non pay elements of the deal - these include the ongoing recruitment and promotions bans, changes in work practices, the extension of the working day, 5 day rostering replacing the normal Monday to Friday working week, re-deployment to locations within 42kn of the current job location, and 'standardisations' of annual leave and overtime payments.

The real kicker for many workers is the fact that these elements of the deal have yet to be clarified - the intention is that they are negotiated by the government and union leaders with any disagreement going to binding arbitration in the state apparatus like the Labour Court. No matter what the result of this arbitration accepting the deal would mean that strikes and indeed any industrial action would be banned.

Impact will now ballot its members with a result expected by mid-May.

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