ISME castigates Government for entering Public Sector talks prematurely.
Average Public Sector pay already 42.5% higher.
Restoration of pay before reform of services a greedy grab by unions.
ISME, Tuesday 26th May 2015.
On therelease of the CSO Earnings & Labour costs, today (26th May), ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, called on the Government to postpone any negotiation on pay with the Public Sector unions until after the election, now due within nine months at most. This would give time for an independent commission to report on public sector pay. The Association stated that after the election the new Government would be in a stronger position to negotiate and would put a stop to the proclivity for pre-election spending.
Today’s CSO figures on earnings and labour costs confirm beyond any reasonable doubt that public sector pay remains totally out of line with the private unsheltered sector, with a difference of 42.5%, (€904 - €635). When compared to SME average wages (€904 - €545) the differential rises to a prodigious 66%. Previous European and OECD data shows Irish public sector average pay still higher than most other countries.
Commenting on the figures ISME CEO Mark Fielding said, “The priviledged group of public sector employees, with golden defined benefit pensions and secure jobs have the audacity to claim the first fruits of recovery through demands for ‘restoration’ before ‘reform’. It is also unconscionable that the Government would tolerate the notion that any productivity gains must be linked to additional pay increases. The other noise from cabinet is a reduction in the pension levy instead of pay increases; bringing us back to the lunatic economics which bankrupted the country”.
“This year we will be spending upwards of €17 billion on public sector pay and pensions, representing a third of all spending. Most of this will be borrowed, eventually to be paid by the citizens, through taxes. The statutory entitlement to taxpayers’ money by the priviledged public sector must be reined in.”
We are heading straight back to the pre-Fempi days of ATM benchmarking and claim jumping by public servants, based on irresponsible and inappropriate decisions from a re-election seeking administration. It is sinful to see ministers fall over themselves giving our money to public servants to buy an election. Is there not a statesman between them, who would put country before self?
“Public sector reform must be an essential element in the overall strategy of recovery as we hopefully emerge from recession. Two parallel worlds cannot be allowed develop, one consisting of an increasingly affluent, sheltered and costly public sector, and the other consisting of a private sector being squeezed by productivity challenges, competitiveness issues and the globalisation process. Public servants do not have a divine right to be first in line and Government have a duty to lead and govern, not to roll over in front of self-serving powerful unions”, concluded Fielding.