13,000 lower-paid civil servants to protest against pension levy


ABOUT 13,000 lower-paid civil servants are to stage a one-hour lunchtime protest on Thursday of next week against the Government’s controversial pension levy for staff in the public service.

The move is expected to affect Government departments and offices of the Revenue Commissioners.

The general secretary of the Civil, Public and Services Union (CPSU), Blair Horan, said last night that local social welfare offices would be excluded from the scope of the protest. The CPSU is also organising a series of regional protests against the levy this week.

Yesterday around 6,000 CPSU members in Dublin and the northeast held a one-hour protest in which they refused to answer telephones.

Mr Horan said members of the public using 1890 phone numbers to contact the Revenue Commissioners had not been affected as these calls had been routed to other centres outside of Dublin and the northeast.

He said the CPSU would be staging further one-hour protests every day this week but that local social welfare offices would not be affected.

Management would be informed of the location and the nature of the protests to take place each morning, he said.

More than 500 members of the trade union Siptu who work for Final County Council, marched through the centre of Swords in north Dublin yesterday to protest at the impact of the pension levy on their earnings.

The council was scheduled to debate a motion last night calling for the rescinding of the levy.

At a mass meeting outside the county council headquarters in Swords, Siptu branch organiser, Ramon O’Reilly told councillors that his members were seeking their support for the motion.

He said that while staff understood the scale of the economic difficulties facing the country they believed that the approach taken by the Government was unfair.