The Irish Model of Social Partnership

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The Irish model of social Partnership has received little more that lip service in the Caribbean. Evaluate the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of this concept in the Caribbean.

What is Social Partnership

Social partnership refers to cooperation among government, the private business sector and labour on strategies to address immediate and long-term economic and social challenges. Such strategies can include controls on wages and prices, as well as tax reform. Social partnerships are, therefore, overarching in their aim to provide stability for national growth and development. Social partnerships can also include civil society and voluntary groups, and tend to be implemented when governments have been unable to address societal and economic challenges unilaterally. (Minto-Coy, L. 2011)

The Irish Model of Social Partnership

It was stated in the paper Social Partnerships and Development: Implications for the Caribbean that Social partnership has been a significant feature of growth in Ireland since the late 1980s. Social partnership in Ireland emerged out of the intense economic crisis in the mid-1980s. The Irish economy in the early 1980s was in a state of social and economic crisis, marred by high government debt.

Irish social partnership originated with the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), an independent

economic advisory body created in 1973, with membership consisting of representatives from private, non-governmental and public sectors. (Beary, 2007).

A key component of the Irish model was the introduction of a hiring “freeze” that saw only one in three public-sector vacancies filled. A wage agreement of a 2.5 percent salary increase each year for both the private and public sectors ...

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...nna D. (2009a). “Diasporas and Development: An Assessment of the Irish Experience for the Caribbean,” Caribbean Paper No. 7. April. Waterloo, Canada: CIGI.

Minto-Coy, I. (2011). Social Partnerships and Development: Implications for the Caribbean. 12th ed. [ebook] Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI). Available at: www.cigionline.org [Accessed 29 Apr. 2014].

Wallace, Joe (2002). “Pacts for Employment and Competitiveness: ESB Cost and Competitive Review.” European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. Available at: www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/industrialrelations/pecs/pdf/english/pecs_esb.pdf.

Yeo, Lionel (2004). “Growth Strategies of Small Nations with Special Reference to Ireland, Finland and Singapore.” MBA thesis, Sloan Business School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. June.
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