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Government’s industrial relations strategy heightening tension – Gerry Adams TD

21 October, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has this afternoon said the government is “failing in its attempts to address the growing number of industrial relations disputes to the detriment of public sector workers and the public-at-large.”

Teachta Adams said:

“Teachers, nurses, doctors and Gardaí have very legitimate issues with regards their pay and conditions.

“The government’s negotiating position has led to an escalation of industrial discontent and as a result we are facing the real prospect of school closures and streets without Gardaí in the coming weeks.

“Their strategy is clearly failing and has heightened confrontation with public sector workers.

“What is required is meaningful dialogue which lays out a clear, sensible path to the provision of full pay restoration for public sector employees, and which prioritises those on low and middle incomes.

“That’s not an impossible task. In our Alternative Budget proposals, Sinn Féin provided for the restoration of allowances for all post-2011 teachers and Gardaí - core demands of the ASTI and the GRA respectively.

“The issue of pay equality for post-2011 entrants also needs to be put in place before the scheduled end of the Lansdowne Road Agreement in September 2018 and any new pay agreement beyond that must set out a clear timetable for a single pay scale for public workers and the restoration of allowances - a timescale that prioritises workers earning below €65,000.

“The government’s current stance that such a timetable can only begin in two years’ time is not feasible in terms of the current industrial relations challenges and kicking the can down the road is not going to solve the problem.

“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 full pay restoration.”

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