SIPTU Vice-President, Gene Mealy, has acknowledged the invitation to the Public Service Committee of the ICTU by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, to engage in early negotiations under Section 6 of the Lansdowne Road Agreement. Gene Mealy said: “The Minister has confirmed that these discussions will conclude before the end of January and that negotiations on a successor collective agreement will follow shortly thereafter. In light of this invitation and commitment, the national officers of SIPTU have decided to defer the proposed ballot of union members in the public service for industrial action which was planned to commence in the coming days.”