Sinn Féin back NIPSA workers - Kearney
Speaking after attending the NIPSA protest in Belfast city centre in support of increased pay levels for public sector workers, Sinn Féin's spokesperson on employment and workers' rights, Declan Kearney, South Antrim MLA, said:
"Sinn Féin representatives, including Alex Maskey MLA, Councillor Séanna Walsh and I, were pleased to again stand in solidarity with NIPSA trade union activists today in support of their justified case for an uplift in pay, which is in line, at minimum, with the rising cost of inflation.
"For nine consecutive years key public sector workers have been denied a reasonable pay increase. They have in fact had to endure an imposed net wage reduction. That is unacceptable.
"Sinn Féin supports NIPSA's demand to reopen the 2018/19 negotiation to ensure these employees receive a wage increase to meet overall rising costs in living. This is an entirely reasonable position.
"The north of Ireland is a low wage economy which continues to be subject to Tory austerity.
"Our view is that all workers in the private or public sectors must be guaranteed fair pay, and decent terms and conditions. In our most recent policy document "Towards a New Employment" Sinn Féin has set out the essential benchmarks to ensure these conditions are met. Those should include payment of the real minimum wage to all employees in both the public and private sectors, and the abolition of zero hours contracts.
"Sinn Féin is fully committed to working closely with NIPSA to ensure that proper pay levels are restored and maintained within the public sector."