Updated: 18/11/16 : 11:48:00
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Siptu issues 1 December deadline for pay talks date

Siptu has said the Government will have to commit to accelerated pay talks within a fortnight if a ballot for industrial action is to be avoided.

The union has agreed members can ballot from December 1 on public sector pay, after the Government did not respond to the initial deadline of yesterday.

It did, however, defer the date at the request of ICTU to allow extra time for exploratory talks with the Government.

Siptu President Jack O'Connor (pictured) said it was difficult to know how the next two weeks would play out.

He said: "They've asked us to delay for two weeks in order to give them a chance for exploratory talks with the Government. We have to see what comes of that, if anything.

"I think it will be open to unions to go and do their own thing after December 1 if some kind of talks process has not been arranged by then."

His Siptu colleague John King, who is a divisional organiser with the union, said its position had not softened.

"I donít accept our position has weakened at all," he said. ""We're going to ballot all of our public sector members for industrial action."