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Government must not go after low paid public sector workers – McDonald

28 June, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to clarify that public sector increments are covered by the Croke Park Agreement and called on him not to go after the pay packets of low paid public sector workers at the behest of his Fine Gael colleagues.

Deputy McDonald TD said:

“This week we saw two Ministers call for the government to breach its commitments under the Croke Park agreement. The Transport Minister went so far as to call for the suspension of public pay increments. All of this in the same week when the government has yet again breached its own salary limit for the new Chief Executive of the VHI.

“Any attempt by government to withdraw increments will disproportionately hit low paid public servants and new entrants.

“Those on the highest grades in the public and civil service have a single pay point. It will take a new entrant Clerical Officer on a start off salary of €20,859 seventeen years and 13 increments to reach a salary of €33,607. By comparison a Secretary General has a single pay point of €200,000 regardless of performance.

“The new chief executive of the VHI is to be paid a salary of €238,727, that’s nearly €50,000 more than the starting rate for new chief executive officers in the State-owned health insurer which was set out by the Government just a year ago.

“If the Government is serious about reform and cost reductions in the public sector this needs to start at the top. Labour and Fine Gael need to get serious about tackling runaway pay for high rollers across the public sector, including their own pay packets.” ENDS

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