Government can show a lead and pay living wage to all public servants now

Senator Marie Sherlock
12 October 2022

Labour spokesperson for Workers Rights, Senator Marie Sherlock has today (Wednesday, 12th October) said that the amount of workers stuck on the minimum wage for four or more years is utterly shocking and insisted that Government can show a lead by paying all state employees a living wage now, not by 2026.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Enterprise Committee, Senator Sherlock said:

“In 2021, more than half of all workers on the minimum wage (56%) were on the rate for 12 months or more with 23% of all workers paid the bare minimum on it for 4 years or more. This is utterly shocking.

“The lack of wage progression points to how important a minimum wage increase actually is for workers who have no other mechanism to improve pay. Yet we have majority of membership of the low pay commission recommending below a inflation wage increase for 2023.

“This is unacceptable and only serves to fuel further wage and income inequality. The Government can show a lead by paying all state employees a living wage now, not by 2026.

“The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has highlighted that collective bargaining is the single most effective way of ensuring wage progression and greater fairness in the workplace. While we welcome the Tanaiste’s statement to transposing EU directive on EU minimum wages by end of the 2023 based on previous experience with information and consultation the detail of the transposition will be key.”

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