The Government’s proposal to create a new forum, involving trade unions and other civil society organisations, to discuss pay, tax and overall spending priorities has been supported by SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor. Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland programme on Wednesday (4th March), O’Connor, said: “I think it is good that there is a forum for political parties and civil society organisations to articulate a view on the key issues affecting people.”He added that it was important to participate “in debate on how to rebuild our economy so we don’t experience another collapse.”However, he said that he did not see the proposal “as in anyway replacing proper negotiations on pay” at workplace level. Adding that workers negotiating pay rises at company level was the  “the way to reinforce the momentum of recovery and restore the economies of the towns and villages of Ireland.”On the issue of which Government he wished to see emerge after the next general election, O’Connor, said: “The Labour Party should be open to the possibility of an alternative alliance post the election, not just with Sinn Féin but other Left independents.” To listen to Jack O’Connor’s full interview click here