Lower-grade civil servants to seek pay rise and shorter hours

Austerity-era cuts have left some staff up to €2,000 poorer, Civil Service forum to hear

Eoin Ronayne of the  Civil Public and Services Union: those earning up to €38,000 will have to be lifted out of austerity-era cuts. Photograph: Eric Luke

Eoin Ronayne of the Civil Public and Services Union: those earning up to €38,000 will have to be lifted out of austerity-era cuts. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Lower-paid civil servants have warned there “will be trouble” if they do not receive a reduction in working hours and “real pay rises” in forthcoming talks with the Government.

In an address to the annual conference of the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) in Killarney, its general secretary Eoin Ronayne will say that lower-paid clerical staff remain up to €2,000 out of pocket on foot of cuts imposed following the economic crash.

He will say that the Lansdowne Road Agreement had brought those earning less than €28,000 back to pre-crash levels.

However he will argue that the bulk of the CPSU’s members are still significantly affected by the pay cuts and pension levy imposed up to nine years ago.

Mr Ronayne will say that those earning up to €38,000 will have to be lifted out of austerity-era cuts by means of real increases in talks on a successor to the Lansdowne Road deal which are expected to commence in May.

Social welfare

He will say that a new survey of union members had found one in 10 was dependant on some social welfare payment such as family income supplement.

Mr Ronayne will maintain that the survey also revealed great anger among CPSU members at unpaid additional hours which they have been required to work under previous national agreements.

“The survey clearly indicated that full pay restoration for all our grades is expected from the talks and this is fully justifiable.”

He will say that “with the strike of a pen, the highest paid in the Civil Service, the secretaries general, had this last week paid themselves €4,500, a figure clerical officers could only dream of”.

“Where is the fairness, the equity and ultimately the morality in that?” he asked.

Down payment

CPSU president Ann McGee will tell the conference the accelerated €1,000 pay increase which most public service staff received this week represented “only a down payment” on full pay restoration.

The union’s deputy general secretary, Derek Mullen, will say the new Public Service Pay Commission should not in its analysis use comparisons with private sector employments which had poor pay and conditions.

“Low levels of pay in the private sector are unacceptable and not an excuse to drag down public service wages.”

He will also say that lower-paid civil servants will fight for better holiday arrangements to bring them up to a par with management grades.

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