International led commission to decide on appropriate pay structures.
Unions’ excessive influence on Government partner must be thwarted.
ISME, Monday 11th May 2015.
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, has called on the Government to postpone the public sector pay talks until after the forthcoming election to allow the new administration to negotiate without election pressure. The Haddington Road Agreement does not end until July 2016, giving sufficient time for a new administration to do the negotiations. The Association warned that a government dependent on public sector votes is not in a good position to negotiate in a pre-election year and advised postponement until after the election.
According to ISME CEO, Mark Fielding, “Holding pay negotiations in less than 10 months from an election is only going to favour one side, the trade unions, and should not be attempted. In addition, the minister responsible, represents the junior partner in government, struggling in the polls, which is not ideal. Any outcome will be seen as a return to auction politics. A new Government would not be hampered by the pressures of an impending election and be in a better position to negotiate an outcome more favourable to the economy at large”.
ISME has already called on the Government to introduce a Pay Commission, chaired by an international expert, toadjudicate on the level of remuneration in the public sector. A postponement of talks could even allow for the introduction of such a commission whereby pay-setting would be removed from the political arena and adjudicated on fairly and transparently, taking into account the international comparisons.
The Association called for:
Postponement of pay talks until after the election.
A comprehensive international led commission to review public sector wages, conditions, perks and increments.
The CSO and the ESRI to produce indisputable comparisons between public and private sectors in Ireland and between Ireland and its international comparators.
Improved efficiencies within the public sector to bring it to world class status.
“The temptation of political interference in public sector pay-setting must be removed. This can be achieved by a postponement of talks and the introduction of an independent international led commission”, concluded Fielding.