Union executive members criticise general secretary

Dear Colleague,
The below-named members of the CPSU Executive Committee wish to place on record our objection to and distance ourselves from, the recent public and internal statements of our General Secretary, Blair Horan, regarding the Croke Park deal. In doing so we also wish to clarify what we believe to be the true position taken from the Executive Committee meeting of 24th June, 2010 regarding the new proposals.

Firstly, it is our understanding that it is CPSU policy to oppose the Croke Park Deal as determined by a National Ballot of our member (67% in favour) – a ballot that also agreed on a strategy of targeted industrial action to reverse the pay cuts.

While we appreciate that our Union position and our campaign to reverse the cuts is facing a difficult crossroads following the acceptance of the proposed deal by the majority of trade unions within the ICTU – particularly given IMPACT, PSEU and AHCPS all voting to accept the deal – and that the limited industrial action was running its course in different areas for various reasons – not least, we feel, a lack of support by Head Office.

In our Executive meeting last Thursday (24th June) a vote to stand down industrial action with immediate effect was passed 10-8. An alternative proposal, delay a decision until after a Consultative Conference in July, was deemed unnecessary due to the original vote being passed.

Despite General Secretary opposing and arguing against certain aspects of the debate that followed, the Executive Committee agreed to following strategy:

•    to immediately seek discussions with like-minded ‘NO’ unions and seek a joint campaign in dealing with the Croke Park agreement
•    to immediately go to the media and make the call publically for an alternative to just accepting ICTU’s majority vote.
•    to seek a consultative conference (before 31st July 2010 and hold honest and frank discussions on the prospects of taking further action, either alone or in some kind of alliance with other unions.
•    to leave a ballot until after this (Consultative) process is complete and the Term-Time period is over. Such a ballot will focus on the choice of members to continue the campaign or accept another option – that option was not agreed on but would need to be formulated after the period of consultation. 

This strategy might not have worked but for the fact that we felt that we need to examine all options open to us to continue to oppose the Croke Park deal and promote publically a CPSU/Alliance alternative.

We also felt that we needed to discuss and agree a general approach with the activists on the ground in the respective branches, so that if we are to agree to go it alone or otherwise on the issue, that we do it together and fully understand the reasons why we have chosen top go that route.

However, we believe the actions of our General Secretary undermined this approach.

We hold that he consciously inaccurately reported the decisions of the Executive Committee and in doing so acted against the interests of the CPSU’s strategy.

His comments before and after the Executive Committee meeting of 24th June gave the impression that the CPSU would be voting for the Croke Park Agreement and so, in our opinion was seeking to influence the outcome of any forthcoming ballot.

Again, in direct opposition to Executive and indeed members’ opinion, the General Secretary offered in the weekend media that the agreement was now ‘the only show in town’.

An opportunity was afforded to each Executive member to assign their name to this document and those that chose to do so, the undersigned, will now be seeking an immediate meeting between your elected Executive Committee and the General Secretary to discuss this matter.

Yours sincerely

Joe Roe        Alan Scully
Mary Duffy         Mary O’Driscoll
Myles Glynn        Terry Kelleher           
Deirdre Quinlan    Tony Conlon
Denis Keane        Billy Maher

Tony Gallagher – Though not at the meeting due to annual leave, I had already made my position clear in an e-mail I sent prior to that meeting and do not understand how any industrial action could be stepped down prior to the result of a ballot of members.  Of what I have heard of the meeting of 24th June, I am happy to assign my name to this statement.