Jack O’Connor has indicated that the Unions were willing to re-enter negotiations on a shared programme for recovery with both employers and government at the SIPTU conference last night. However, he clearly states that it could not just be about “woolly words and cuddly concepts and like the myth of social partnership which has been shown to provide a surplus of access and a deficit of influence”.
One of the key conditions he identifies as a deal breaker is the introduction of a universal pension system, that would cover both public and private sector workers. This is one of the substantive policy outcomes that will mediate the possibility of a new partnership deal. But, the quote above is an interesting statement, and directly related to my research which is trying to identify what influence the partnership agreements had in actual policy decisions (particularly in relation to industrial relations, labour markets and social policy).