Why you should vote no to Croke Park Two


The new Croke Park deal is a vicious attack on the pay and conditions of all Public Sector workers and their families by the Government. Shamefully our Trade Union leaders have allowed it to tear up an existing agreement that was due to run until June 2014 and have agreed to another one, which is significantly worse.

IMPACT and SIPTU negotiators have collaborated with the Government to suggest new ways of cutting public service pay. Public sector workers have already suffered huge cuts in direct pay cuts, tax increases and erosion of sick pay entitlements as part of the overall austerity imposed on us in order to pay off the debts of our banks. This deal offers more of the same including a continuation of a recruitment embargo, despite 30,000 workers having already left the Public Service.


A Pay and Increments Freeze. Inflation is currently running at 2 percent but pay is frozen for three more years. Workers are also being denied increment increases. It is another pay cut on top of the average 14% pay cut public sector workers have already taken.

Six days less holidays for some workers. Workers at the top of their pay scale (between €35k & €65k p.a.) must accept a cut in holidays – or accept another pay cut.

Extra hours – a pay cut by another name. Trade unions normally try to reduce the working week but the Impact leadership want us to work longer. Many workers who achieved a 34 or 35 hour week will have to do 37 hours; others will be forced to work 39 hours. This is the same as a 6% pay cut.

Unpaid overtime. Workers on a 39 hour week will have to give an hour’s overtime for free. That represents a pay cut for tens of thousands of council staff who sometimes rely on overtime because of lower pay.

Cuts to overtime rate. Workers long ago won the right to be paid time and a half for overtime. Now it is reduced to time and a quarter.

Direct pay cuts for those over €65,000. The original Croke Park deal was meant to protect pay but this was another lie.

Restrictions on Work-sharing and Flexi-time. The new deal is an attack on families and women juggling home and work and who will now face increased childcare costs as a result of longer working hours. Further restrictions to flexi-time and work-sharing will force many parents of young families into acceptance of voluntary redundancy. Croke Park 2 acknowledges this implicitly in section 2.11.

Forced Redundancy? This deal explicitly leaves open the possibility of forced redundancy for the first time by stating that the “Business needs of the Organisation” would make for “circumstances where voluntary redundancy is appropriate”.

Is this the last attack on our pay and conditions as Minister Howlin states?

Section 1.13 and 1.14 deals with the “Review of this Agreement” and the possibility of revisiting the commitments or assumptions within it which of course gives the Government a get-out clause to come back for more in similar fashion to which they have already done.

The Impact leadership keep insisting that the Government intends to legislate anyway if an agreement is not reached but they have played this game for the past four years. They justify every retreat by saying that if we do not accept it the alternative is much worse. All this does is encourage the Government to seek more by making a big enough threat. If it was this simple to legislate why do they need the agreement of Trade Unions? Having to pass legislation will force Labour TD’s who campaigned to protect Public Servants pay to explain why they are now doing the opposite. The reality is that our co-operation with these cuts is necessary to maintain the illusion that austerity is working.

This Government is terrified that workers will take collective action, contrary to what we hear from the trade union leaderships. There are alternatives.

We are not powerless.

We therefore have to stop the retreat or else we will face further cuts in the near future. A network of activists across Impact that is organised to defeat this deal can be the start of a campaign to take back our Union and turn it into something that really protect member’s interests.


This leaflet is produced by IMPACT members in local authorities and health services in a personal capacity. Please distribute this letter to your colleagues.

Jane Power, IMPACT member, Cork City Council
Donal Guerin, IMPACT member, Cork City Council
Anthony Hetherington, IMPACT member, HSE.
Alan Gibson, IMPACT member, NCRI
Michael O’Sullivan, IMPACT member, Cork County Council

SOURCE: This text was posted to the Revolutionary Program blog, we reproduce it here because its a very detailed and useful explanation of why Croke Park II is bad for workers.