Croke Park extension talks begin today

Talks begin today on an extension to the Croke Park deal, covering pay and pensions in the public service.

The Government is said to be targeting savings of €300m this year, and €1bn over three years.

The opening session of the Croke Park extension talks will bring together representatives from 26 worker groups before they move to the Labour Relations Commission in the coming days.

It is expected topics such as increments, premium pay and overtime will all be tackled in the process.

Teachers may be asked to change the way supervision and substitution payments are made. Premium pay and overtime for gardaí and prison officers may also be looked at.

Some reports say the coalition intends to bring in compulsory redundancies in the public service for the first time, targeting workers who are unsuitable for redeployment.

Update 8.30am: Bernard Harbour of the IMPACT trade union said everything was up for discussion, but warned that any new proposals would have to be equitable, deliver savings and pass a ballot of its members.

"I think it's legitimate for both sides to table anything they like," he said. "But all of these things have to pass the test of equity and acceptability.

"On things like sick pay for example - sick leave provisions have already been halved. There are pockets of the public service where sick leave is very high (but) now that the changes have been made, I think that really is a problem of management."

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