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Low and middle income public servants have no more to give: McDonald

23 April, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on the Taoiseach to respect public sector workers’ rejection of the Croke Park 2 deal saying low and middle income workers had no more to give.

The Dublin Central TD said the LRC consultation with unions must be a return to the drawing board and not a meal- mouthed effort to tweak the rejected Croke Park 2 deal.

Deputy McDonald said:
“Government has asked the Labour Relations Commission to engage again with trade unions following last week’s decisive rejection of Croke Park 2 by workers.
“With astonishing cynicism Public Expenditure Minister, Brendan Howlin is still ploughing head with revised budget figures which contain the very same public sector pay cuts rejected last week.
“If any renewed talk are looking to public sector pay and pensions then there needs to be a real policy shift coming from cabinet. Pay inequity across the public sector must be addressed.
“Government needs to listen to the resounding vote of low and middle income public servants who simply can’t pay any more.
“It’s time now for Brendan Howlin to fess up and accept that the big stick approach of issuing threats and diktats to public sector workers has failed.
“The Taoiseach needs to definitively state that threats to cut public sector pay by seven per cent across the board are now off the table. This can’t be like Lisbon 2, where the same proposition is put to the public sector until they vote the way government wants them to
“Renewed negotiations must be a return to the drawing board and not a mealy mouthed effort to tweak Croke Park 2 or worse still a face saving measure for the Labour Party.

“Will runaway pay and gold plated pensions for those at the top of the public sector finally be on the table? Will this be an inclusive negotiation? Will the gardaí, nurses, emergency personnel and other frontline workers be active participants in any new negotiation?

“Right across Europe there is an acceptance that austerity has failed and a new approach is needed. Slashing the pay of low and middle income public sector workers will do nothing for the domestic economy, the hundreds of thousands on the dole or the tens of thousands emigrating.

“It’s time now for Brendan Howlin to tackle pay inequity in the public sector and for his cabinet colleagues to once to ditch this Government’s failed austerity agenda. “ ENDS

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