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Public sector pay talks must improve lot of the lowest paid first – McDonald

11 February, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Sinn Féin Deputy Leader and Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Mary Lou McDonald TD has called on Minister Brendan Howlin to prioritise the improvement of the terms and conditions of the lowest paid public sector workers, and to guarantee a ban on ‘yellow-packing’ in any new public sector recruitment.

Speaking following her exchange with the Minister during Question Time, Deputy McDonald said:

“This Minister has now confirmed there will be an initial scoping exercise with the public sector trade unions in April.  He further confirmed that he envisages a new pay deal will be concluded in advance of the next Budget.”

“Any new pay deal must, as a matter of priority, offer relief to the lowest paid public sector workers first.  The Minister must address the fact that many workers in this category do not earn a living wage – that is, one sufficient to meet basic needs such as housing, food, clothing and healthcare – and nearly four thousand of them are still dependent on Family Income Supplement.  That is just not acceptable in a situation of economic recovery.”

“It is essential that any new deal ensures that the lifting of the recruitment embargo results in the creation of permanent and properly paid public jobs.  There must be no yellow-packing, outsourcing or over-reliance on temporary or part-time contract jobs to fill gaps in the front line services.”

“The only acceptable new pay deal will include these features at a minimum.”

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