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Pay Equality must be achieved by 2020 amidst Recruitment Crises in Health and Education – O’Brien

23 July, 2018 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform Jonathan O’Brien TD has today warned that the issue of pay inequality is contributing towards recruitment and retention problems throughout the public sector.

The TD for Cork North Central was speaking in response to continuing recruitment problems in the health and education sectors.

Jonathan O’Brien TD said:

“The growing problem of recruitment in our schools and hospitals poses a serious threat to our public services.

“Recent plans by the Department of Education to convert primary school teachers to second-level education in light of demographic pressures and a teacher supply crisis will not solve the problem.

“Paying €800,000 daily on hospital agency staff in the absence of directly employed nurses will not solve the recruitment crisis in our health service.

“Issues in recruitment are exacerbated by the pay cuts that were exacted on the public service in the era of austerity. Reversing pay inequality would begin to challenge these crises in recruitment. 

“Over 60,000 public sectors workers receive less pay than their colleagues for equal work. This includes over 20 percent of workers in our education sector, and a quarter of the workforce in our health services. Today, 10,000 nurses receive less pay for equal work while fighting on the front line of an underfunded and health system. This is unacceptable.

“Pay equalisation can be achieved within the period of the current Public Service Stability Agreement, and should be. Sinn Féin  has committed to achieving this within two years, with post-January 2011 entrants attaining equal pay with their colleagues, for equal work, by the close of 2020.

“It is imperative that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail reverse this austerity measure to ensure public sector workers receive equal pay for equal work, and remove a significant impediment to recruitment in our health and education services.” 

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