FG and FF can’t walk away from public pay deal

07 May 2020

Labour Employment spokesperson Ged Nash, responding to comments of Fine Gael Ministers in the Irish Examiner today said it is untenable for the Government to walk away from a long standing pay deal when public servants are on the frontline of our effort to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, and the cost is already accounted for in 2020 and 2021.

Deputy Nash said:

“In the last 8 weeks public servants across the country have gone above and beyond the call of duty in our national effort to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Today we read comments from Fine Gael Ministers saying any pay increase for public servants would not be credible.

“Some basic facts have been forgotten. The pay rise in October is the final instalment of a three year deal and the cost of it has already been included in the budget for 2020 that was passed just months ago.

“When we are asking frontline workers to put themselves in harms way it would be a slap in the face to remove the final instalment of a long awaited pay increase.

“The cost of the proposals in 2020 is estimated to be approximately €340 million and of that a large proportion relates to Health alone who are our frontline heroes right now. There is then a carry on cost of €227 million in 2021. What can’t be lost however is that these figures are already included in the budget figures for this year and next.

“In the context of a multi-billion deficit due to the Covid-19 pandemic it would be grotesque that the first cut a new government makes would be to the pay of the workers who got us through this crisis. The same Ministers who are falling over themselves to be first in line to tweet their thanks to our nurses, doctors, healthcare assistants are now spoiling for a fight with them.

“It is two-faced and plain wrong for Fine Gael to try to divide workers at such a critical period of our national response.

“A new pay deal will have to be negotiated in the months ahead and it would be an incredible act of bad faith for the Government to renege on previous agreements before even sitting down with the trade unions that represent the workers on whom we all depend.”

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