Direct Talks Needed on a New Pay Agreement – Cullinane
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform David Cullinane has given a guarded welcome to the public service pay commission.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“It is obvious that a new pay agreement, one that addresses the burning issue of pay equality for post-2011 entrants, needs to be put in place before the scheduled end of the Lansdowne Road agreement in September 2018.
“Teachers, nurses, doctors and Gardaí have legitimate issues with regard to pay but the government, for its own reasons, has decided to create a confrontation where dialogue is needed.
“We need a timetable for a single pay scale and the restoration of allowances.
“The government’s current stance that such a timetable can only begin in two years’ time is not practical in terms of industrial relations and it is not right in terms of pay equality.
“Minister Donohoe has said that the Public Sector Pay Commission will not be a substitute for direct talks. However, in the absence of direct talks many public sector workers will be sceptical of this commission.
“The Government cannot kick the can down the road.
“It needs set out the timing of the next pay agreement, and recognise that the process of achieving pay equality needs to start before September 2018.
“The government is already doing this of course, as seen with its move to restore allowances for some post-2011 teachers.
“Sinn Féin was able to provide for the restoration of allowances in its Alternative Budget.
“The Government could have done the same but refused to do so and is now wondering why it is facing industrial action over issues of pay equality.
“What public servants want and deserve is the fair and timely unwinding of FEMPI cuts and pay restoration.
“This can only be achieved through direct dialogue and the formation of a new pay agreement that offers a road map to pay restoration.”