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Government’s inaction on pay equality threatens public services – Jonathan O’Brien TD

1 November, 2018 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin deputy spokesperson for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform Jonathan O’Brien TD has commented on the recent rejection of the government’s pay proposals by the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation and asked that the government take the issue of pay equality seriously.

Speaking today, the Cork North-Central said:

“Sinn Féin has continually called on the government to reverse the pay inequality exacted on public sector workers since 2011.

"Earning less for equal work is not acceptable in the private sector and should not be tolerated in the public sector.

“Over 60,000 public sector workers receive less pay than their colleagues for equal work. This includes 20% of our education workforce and 10,000 nurses who serve our families and communities on the front line of an underfunded and understaffed health service.

“The proposal put forward by the Government and Fianna Fáil will ensure that these workers will face pay inequality until 2026.

“It is therefore unsurprising that unions including the INMO and INTO, across teaching and the nursing profession have rejected the proposal, with industrial action now a possibility.

"This will have serious consequences for the delivery of public services.

“This was entirely avoidable, and Sinn Féin has consistently called for an alternative approach.

“We called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to provide full pay equality by the beginning of 2020, not 2026.

“This would have seen all post-2011 entrants seeing an initial pay increase at the beginning of 2019, with full equality reached by the beginning of 2020 and the end of the Public Service Stability Agreement.

“This proposal was entirely achievable in the context of Budget 2019.

“I raised these issues with the Minister in the Dáil last week and called for a new and independent chair to be nominated to ensure parties come to an equitable and realistic solution.

“Within that solution is full pay equality by 2020.”

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