Public service unions agree to talks on Croke Park deal

Public service unions have agreed to enter talks with management to discuss the Government's plan to raise a further €1bn from the Croke Park Agreement.

Unions say they will sit down with public service managers next Wednesday to discuss further cost-cutting measures.

The talks would see an extension of the Croke Park Agreement, covering issues such as

extra working hours for the same pay, increments and premium pay.

Spokesman for the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Bernard Harbor, said that union leaders accept that the Government is in a difficult position.

"What's clear, or what the Government is saying is now clear, is that there's a bigger hole to fill now that we expected when we went into this process," he said.

"So I think unions accept that that problem exists.

"We hear what the Minister says when he says that he'll be looking for savings in the pay bill to help get over that problem, and obviously the general attitude is that it's much better to be negotiating about how that will happen rather than have payroll changes imposed upon our members."

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