Equal Pay Won't Go Away - Cullinane
Sinn Féin spokesperson for public expenditure and reform David Cullinane TD has today noted the draft agreement on public sector pay, adding that the concerns of post-2011 entrants must be addressed.
Deputy Cullinane said:
"Very few details have been made public so far and while any deal that gives something back to workers is to be welcomed, it is nonetheless disappointing that this draft agreement appears to have ignored the two-tier pay structure that now exists within the public sector.
"This was the issue that drove a lot of industrial unrest last year, and it is hard to see how an agreement that refuses to address this issue will somehow make that issue go away.
"Sinn Féin has been consistent in calling for equal pay for equal work.
"The present round of talks was the opportunity to solve this problem once and for all.
"We welcome the elements of the deal that are in line with our own discussion document - namely the scrapping of FEMPI cuts for low to middle-income workers - but we need to see just what has been agreed for high earners.
"The last pay deal disproportionately benefitted high earners, and I would be concerned whether the same has been done here.
"There does not seem to be anything in this agreement for those under €30,000, who will not benefit from the scrapping of the FEMPI core pay cuts.
"Are we going to see a situation where Government Ministers are going to get a pay rise while those on low pay get nothing?
"The devil, as they say, is in the detail.
"It also remains to be seen how the draft agreement will address retention issues, particularly in health and the defence forces.
"I will be meeting with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Pascal Donoghue today at my request and I will be asking him for more clarification on the agreement.
"Equal pay, as well as retention, will be to the fore of our conversation."