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Transport Minister Varadkar calls for agreement before airports strike over pension – National News – Independent.ie


TRANSPORT Minister Leo Varadkar has called on all parties to reach agreement before a strike grounds operations at the country’s main airports.

Passengers have been warned they face disruption on Monday when staff at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports stage rolling work stoppages over a pensions row.

Aer Lingus has threatened to sue Siptu, its officials and members for two million euro a day for losses, while Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) will seek an injunction against the action at the High Court on Friday.

Mr Varadkar urged stakeholders in the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme to renew their efforts to reach agreement.

Talks aimed at resolving the dispute at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) have been continuing since January.

“Minister Varadkar, who has been in regular contact with the stakeholders, said he is encouraging them to use the State machinery to resolve the current difficulties regarding the pension scheme,” his spokesman said.

“The minister said a renewed focus is necessary in order to avoid the proposed industrial action on Monday, which would cause huge inconvenience to the travelling public.”

The dispute centres on the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme, a pension pot jointly operated by DAA, Aer Lingus and SR Technics, which left Ireland in recent years.

The scheme has about 15,000 members but was in deficit by some €700m at the end of 2011.

Unions want Aer Lingus and the DAA to make significant investments to close the deficit in the fund.

Other unions involved in the dispute include Impact, Unite, Mandate and the TEEU, but they have not served notice of industrial action.

DAA maintains the stoppages are unwarranted while the industrial relations machinery of the state is fully engaged with this issue.

It is taking its court case amid claims some members, including fire, police and search units, cannot take industrial action because of existing agreements.

Elsewhere Aer Lingus said it has not breached collective agreements and warned it will hold Siptu and all relevant officers, officials and members personally liable in respect of the losses sustained if industrial action goes ahead.

The move could financially cripple Siptu, which has vowed to proceed with the action as planned.

via Transport Minister Varadkar calls for agreement before airports strike over pension – National News – Independent.ie.

via Transport Minister Varadkar calls for agreement before airports strike over pension – National News – Independent.ie.

Teachers’ unions criticise allowance decisions as cuts to salary


THE TRADE UNION representing Ireland’s primary school teachers has criticised yesterday’s reviews of public service allowances, saying the decision not to reverse allowances suspended in the last Budget is tantamount to a third annual cut in teachers’ pay.

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation said decisions to cap qualification allowances for new entrants to the teaching system means primary teachers have been hit harder through successive cutbacks than other public servants.

“While qualification allowances are abolished, new teachers will start on the fourth point of the salary scale,” the union’s general secretary Shiela Nunan said.

“In addition, all teachers who carry out supervision duties will continue to be paid the supervision allowance. This means the starting salary for new teachers, including a supervision allowance, will now be €32,294.

Three years ago a similarly newly-employed teacher could expect a wage of €39,195 – meaning a gross pay cut of 17 per cent in the last three years.

The pay could have been lower, however, as supervision allowances – an extra allowance paid to teachers in return for giving up breaks in order to supervise in the schoolyard at lunch break – had been retained, having been identified as previously being up for abolition.

Nunan said the pay now being offered to new teachers did not reflect the academic standard of new teachers in Ireland, who she said had been recognised as among the highest achievers, in academic terms, in the world.

She argued that it was not possible to defend a system where younger teachers were paid significantly less than only slightly more experienced peers who were doing exactly the same work.

The union said it would continue to work towards reducing inequalities among teachers’ salaries.

via Teachers’ unions criticise allowance decisions as cuts to salary.

via Teachers’ unions criticise allowance decisions as cuts to salary.

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