The Croke Park Agreement (CPA) was a deal signed in 2010 in Ireland between public sector unions and the government. The aim of the agreement was to achieve savings of €3 billion ($3.5 billion) over three years.
The agreement was named after Croke Park, a stadium in Dublin and the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The agreement was seen as significant because it was the first time that the government had negotiated with the unions without using the threat of compulsory redundancies.
The key aspects of the CPA included a moratorium on hiring, promotion, and pay increases, as well as cuts to overtime and premium payments. The agreement also included provisions for better work practices, including a reduction in sick leave and a focus on efficiency improvements.
The CPA was renegotiated in 2013 and extended until 2016. However, in 2013, the government introduced further measures to reduce public sector pay, including a new pension levy and cuts to allowances. These measures were challenged by the unions, but ultimately upheld by the Irish Supreme Court.
Fórsa is the largest public service union in Ireland, representing over 90,000 members. Fórsa was formed in 2017 through the merger of three public sector unions – IMPACT, the Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU), and the Public Service Executive Union (PSEU).
Fórsa has been involved in negotiations on pay and conditions for public sector workers, including teachers, nurses, and civil servants. Fórsa has also been involved in campaigns against the government`s austerity policies and has called for investment in public services.
In 2020, Fórsa called for a new social contract for Ireland, which would prioritize investment in public services and support for workers and families. The union also called for measures to address the climate crisis and inequality.
In conclusion, the Croke Park Agreement was a significant deal in Ireland`s public sector, aiming to achieve significant savings while maintaining industrial peace. Fórsa, as the largest public sector union, continues to play a key role in negotiating with the government on behalf of public sector workers and advocating for investment in public services and social justice.