Two teachers' unions advise members to reject deal
Updated: Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 12:12
Two teachers' unions have advised their members to reject the new Croke Park Agreement.
At a meeting tonight, the national executive of the Teachers' Union of Ireland said it would recommend that its 15,000 members vote against the agreement.
Earlier, the Irish Federation of University Teachers advised its 2,000 members to do the same.
The recommendations are not binding and members can vote freely in the upcoming ballot.
The country's biggest teaching union, the INTO, said it has deferred making a decision to advise members which way to vote on the proposals.
The national executive of the INTO met in Dublin this evening but has decided to meet again this Friday to discuss the document.
The union has 32,000 members.
Yesterday, the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants decided to oppose the package.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin has accused Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin of putting his hand in the pockets of gardaí, firefighters and nurses in the proposed deal.
The party’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the Government was not prepared to prioritise low and middle income workers or frontline workers.
In sharp exchanges in the Dáil, Mr Howlin accused Ms McDonald of what he called "shabby, shameful abuse of trade union negotiators" in her reaction to the public sector deal this week.
The minister claimed Ms McDonald had not even read the document, before coming to what he called her "venomous conclusion" that any union leaders who recommended it should hang their heads in shame.
He acknowledged "the extraordinary work of public sector workers", adding that no one had defended Croke Park like he had.
Meanwhile, the largest union in the civil service, the Civil Public and Service Union, has launched a media campaign to highlight to the public the impact of cuts in pay and conditions on its members.
CPSU negotiators walked out of the talks on the deal extension last Sunday, saying the proposals were too unfair to lower paid workers.
Its executive committee meets tomorrow to consider its response to the draft agreement.