Richard Boyd Barrett on Croke Park 2

Croke Park 2 is the worst ever deal negotiated by union leaders. It will undermine long standing rights that workers won decades ago.

The original Croke Park deal has another year to run and was not due to expire until June 2014. Yet the union leaders allowed the government to tear it up and put an even worse one in place. The new proposals mean:

Work longer to get rid of more public sector jobs: Those who work 35 hours or less now have to work for 37 hours. Those who work for 35 or more now have to work for 39 hours. These longer hours exclude all rest breaks and are described as only the ‘minimum’.

This means a cut in the hourly rate of pay.

Give your employer a free hour’s overtime:  Many lower paid workers depend on overtime to survive. But these proposals will slash their earnings.

Those who already work 39 hours will have to do a free hour for their employer – representing another pay cut of between €13 and €20 for many. Overtime rates are also being cut and will be calculated on the lower hourly pay.

Pay and Allowance Cuts: Inflation is running at 2 % but wages are frozen until 2016. That makes seven years of a pay freeze. The traditional double pay for Sunday is also being cut.

Yet bills for the property tax will arrive in March. Next year, there will be water charges. How are we supposed to pay?

Anyone who earns over €65,000 will have their pay cut by 5.5% .  These cuts also apply to people whose allowances bring them over this figure.

Increments are a right not a privilege. Fine Gael back benchers have mounted a campaign against workers who receive an increment for years of service. Now they freeze increments for three or six months.

Give the state 6 days free labour. If you are at the top of your pay scale, you have to give your employer six days free labour. Or else you take another pay cut.

Outsource and Threaten: Managements are using the economic crisis to outsource many public service jobs. Croke Park 2 gives them great scope to do this. They only have to evaluate a ‘service plan’ by inhouse staff. They can then use a number of excuses to allow outsourcing – including cost, quality and services. As long as they have ‘consultation’ – not negotiations – they can push ahead with outsourcing.


We should stick together and resist this rotten government. If they try to cut the wages of public sector workers again, there should be co-ordinated national stoppages. Remember: if we do nothing, they will just keep coming after us. It is time to fight.



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