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Public service deal flawed and raises more questions than answers – Ferris

30 March, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

Commenting on the outcome of the negotiations between public service unions and Government, Sinn Féin Workers’ Rights spokesperson Martin Ferris said the deal was flawed in that pay cuts for lowest paid public service workers were not being reversed. He said the other elements of the deal so far outlined raise more questions than answers.

He said:

“While there are, apparently, to be no further pay cuts, the deal is flawed in failing to reverse the pay cuts for even the lowest paid public service workers. It is ambiguous, to say the least, on whether any of the pay cuts will ever be reversed.

“Public service workers and their families struggling to live on lower incomes, some of them having lost their homes or facing re-possession, will look askance at a deal that will leave them not one cent better off.

“Where is the guarantee that there will be no more cuts for people on social welfare? Where is the commitment to no more cuts in the public services provided by public servants?

“Changes in work practices which allow for more flexibility and help provide improved services to the public are welcome. However, if this is done in the context of a continuing recruitment embargo and ongoing cutbacks then the positive changes will be wiped out. In the area of health, for example, the recruitment embargo is deepening the crisis in our hospitals. In local authorities it is reducing services all the time.

“The deal as so far outlined raises more questions than answers. Public service workers and the wider public will need to know a lot more about how this agreement is to be interpreted and implemented before giving a final verdict.” ENDS

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