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Low to middle income workers must be prioritised in public sector pay commission – Cullinane

19 July, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

David Cullinane, Sinn Féin spokesperson for public expenditure and reform, has cautiously welcomed the new public sector pay commission, adding that progress on the issue must prioritise low to middle income workers.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“I welcome that the government has begun the process of establishing a public sector pay commission. The fact that this commission has to report in time for October 2017 budget cycle shows up the sleight-of-hand in the government’s economic summer statement where no provision is made for pay restoration after 2018. This is hardly a credible stance.

“There needs to be movement on pay equality and pension restoration.  Indeed, the issue of pay equalisation is fundamental one facing the public sector. It has hit morale in staff-rooms and has brought a disenchantment with public service from new entrants that goes against the grain of what fair employment means.

“Sinn Féin stands with the trade unions and representative organisations when they call for equal pay for equal work.

“We will continue to support the demand that this unfair two tiered system be replaced with a fairer system that rewards people based on their work ,and is not defined by when they began their career.

“It is Sinn Féin’s view that FEMPI needs to be unwound in an equitable and structured way, with emphasis on low to middle income workers before those on over €65,000 who are already due to receive significant elements of pay restoration under the Lansdowne Road Agreement due to the unwinding of the Haddington Road Agreement.

“At the same time, the restoration of pension rates needs to be speeded up. The worry and anxiety this issue causes for pensioners and their spouses is a price not worth paying for any society that calls itself civilised.

“Sinn Féin will pursue these issues and will continue to work towards rebuilding our society on more equitable grounds.”

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