In fact, this means that public officials and their managers are required, in accordance with the agreement, to cooperate in order to change the functioning of the public service so that it does so with less money and less staff, but more effectively. Unions would consider increases to be part of wage rates and also argue that such a reduction in increases would disproportionately affect low wages. They also believe that the allowances that have been in the news this week are protected by the agreement and cannot be affected by the government. Some teachers` unions have gone so far as to say that they will vote in favour of industrial action if they are cut anyway. The agreement, officially titled “The Public Service Agreement 2010-2014,” was signed by the ICTU on June 6, 2010. In the context of layoffs and wage cuts in the private sector, the government has agreed not to impose redundancies in the public sector or further wage cuts in the public sector.  In his recent speech to the D`il, Brendan Howlin – who is tasked with ensuring the implementation of the agreement – said: “As long as Croke Park and the unions are committed to respecting their side of the agreement, the government is determined to stick to its side.” It`s true. This agreement was reached in recent months by the Coalition Government of the Fianna-Alliance Greens, but it received broad support between the parties and the current government has pledged to honour the CPA, particularly in view of the fact that many Labour Party unions would be involved. In April, the leader of the party and the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore, said of the CPA: “An agreement is reached, you respect the agreement.” The agreement is two years away.
While much will be said about it in the months and years to come, the official line remains for the time being that the government commits to it as long as the unions commit to it. Unions maintain the line that the agreement must be maintained, while maintaining the threat of industrial action and possible strikes if not. The Croke Park Agreement, officially known as the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014, is an agreement between the Irish government and various public sector unions and representative organisations. It was named after croke Park, a large sports arena with conference facilities in Dublin, where negotiations took place. So of course there are problems, differences and divisions, but what will happen? He also proposed postponing wage increases, saying it would save up to 200 million euros a year. The CPA does not explicitly mention the increases, but undertakes not to further reduce officers` pay rates for the duration of the agreement. The agreement builds on the considerable level of reform in the public service under the 2010-14 Public Service Agreement and contains a number of other measures needed to support the provision of a more integrated, efficient and effective public service. The idea is that, although there is less money and less staff, the level of public sector services is not decreasing and, in some cases, it is hoped that the level of services can be improved. The priority objective is to reduce the budget deficit to below 3% of gross domestic product by 2014, as was the case with the pre-bailout agreement, which effectively requires a significant reduction in the number of public service employees.