Jack O'Connor: 'no better deal'

The leaders of the country's largest trade union said at the weekend that if the unions were back at Croke Park today they wouldn't get the deal they were offered by the government last month.

Siptu president Jack O'Connor said if the volatility that exists in the euro today was going on when the unions were negotiating the Croke Park deal, then the government certainly wouldn't have offered a deal which provides job security, pay certainty and the opportunity to recoup the pay cuts over time.

"I have no doubt we wouldn't get that deal now," O'Connor told the Sunday Tribune.

The Siptu president added that while he personally had no problem with public servants who voted against the deal, he had "serious concerns" about those who were peddling the notion that nothing would happen if it was thrown out.

"If Croke Park is rejected, the government will target public servants again," he warned.

Last Friday, the 40,000-strong nurses, members of the Inmo, voted 84% against the deal, an expected result which swung the number of Ictu delegate votes firmly against the Croke Park deal.

With seven of the 19 public sector unions declaring against Croke Park, the vote so far is 910 against and 460 in favour out of the total Ictu delegate votes of 2,550.

But the 'big two'– Siptu and Impact – who between them have around 1,300 votes and alone will decide the fate of the Croke Park deal , have yet to declare.

The executives of both unions have recommended acceptance so Croke Park is expected to be passed when both deliver the result of their ballot on 11/12 June.