Equal Pay And Retention Must Not Be Sidelined - Cullinane
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform David Cullinane TD has given a guarded acknowledgement to the draft public sector pay agreement.
Speaking today, Teachta Cullinane said;
"I met with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Pascal Donohoe earlier today and we had a full and frank discussion on the draft public sector pay agreement.
"The trade union membership will have their say on this matter and I will fully respect that outcome but I do think there are a couple of issues that should have been dealt with now rather than later.
"I note that the agreement works towards a timely and structured unwinding of FEMPI which is what we called for in our discussion document and that is to be welcomed.
"However, it is weak on the issue of equal pay for equal work. This is the issue that drove a lot of the industrial unrest last year.
"The two-tier pay structure may be ameliorated somewhat by this agreement, but nonetheless it will still exist.
"The agreement makes provision to revisit this issue towards the end of 2018, but given the unfairness of this matter it is deeply disappointing that it has not been put to bed for good.
"The agreement also kicks into touch the issue of retention, particularly within health and the defence forces, despite the fact that this was raised by the Public Sector Pay Commission in its recent document.
"The agreement provides for talks on this issue towards the end of 2018, but retention is a critical issue today. It is one that cannot wait for another eighteen months until it is addressed.
"Sinn Féin’s priority is to protect workers on low to middle incomes.
"This agreement does give something back to those workers but in monetary terms it disproportionately benefits high earners.
"Alongside our other party spokespersons, I will be meeting with the relevant trade unions and representative groups over the next couple of weeks to get their sense of this agreement.
"We will develop a definitive response to this agreement once that process is completed."