Interference in public sector pay-setting must be removed.
Public Sector already overpaid by international comparison
Public Sector pay 45% higher than private, with pay increases to come.
Economy cannot afford these unsustainable rates of pay.
At the release of the CSO figures on Earnings and Labour Costs for the 2nd quarter of 2015, today (27th August), ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, called on Government to establish a Public Sector Pay Commission to determine all future pay arrangements across the public sector. In the context of the recovery, the Association demanded that political interference in the setting of pay be stopped and a fully independent body be charged with the task.
Commenting on the figures ISME CEO Mark Fielding said, "It is vital that Ireland does not repeat the 'benchmarking mistakes' of the past, as the economy recovers. The public sector pay commission would make detailed and specific proposals for how efficiency and productivity improvements can fund any future increases in public sector remuneration. The independence of this body will ensure that the process would be free of pre-election promises and could verify savings, costs and international comparisons".
While the average weekly wage has increased marginally by 1.8% to €698, today's CSO figures on earnings and labour costs show the continuing difference between public and private sectors of 45.3%, (€918 - €632). When compared to the average wages in a small business (€918 - €540) the differential rises to 70%.
"Politicians are weak managers for two main reasons; they are beholden to their staff for votes and the money paid out is not their own."
"Public sector wage increases must not be used as election enticements, while inefficiencies are accepted as though they are inevitable. We need political leaders with a backbone to step forward and instigate real change, then step aside so that we can have a world-class efficient public sector and an affordable public pay bill."
The Association called for:
An international led commission to review public sector wages, conditions, perks and increments.
Improved efficiencies within the public sector to bring it to world class status.
Scrap the overly-restrictive rules on out-sourcing.
"The interference in public sector pay-setting must be removed. The current system gives much too much power to politicians, in hock to trade unions and dependent on the public sector vote. An independent commission should ensure fairness, balance and equity", concluded Fielding.