Grappling with Croke Park proposals


Sir, – The latest proposals for extending the Croke Park agreement involve pay cuts for higher-paid public servants. This pandering to left-wing ideologues could cost the nation dearly.

Already, the public sector is finding it difficult to attract and retain top-quality experts in the various disciplines. Top professionals can earn far more in the private sector. We need smart people in the public sector, people who can engage on an equal basis with their counterparts in the private sector and not be intimidated by them intellectually. These are the people who can help lead Ireland’s recovery. Without them, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Any politician who favours pay cuts for the best people should explain why paying less to Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie would improve Manchester United’s finances. While it may be more difficult to discover the stars in finance, IT, administration, etc, than football, such people are no less valuable; arguably, they are even more valuable since the difference between doing the job well and badly can have far greater financial consequences. I’m not advocating that they get similar rewards – the rewards for top professional footballers are obscene – but they should be recognised and treasured. They should not have pay reductions forced on them. – Yours, etc,


Woodbrook Downs,

Bray, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – I note Thomas J Clarke (February 19th) states that “Gardaí are in very safe . . . employment” and that “All have been severely hurt.” I find the use of these words ironic. Gardaí in their work are far from safe, and have been severely hurt, some even murdered.

I suggest Mr Clarke sit in a patrol car next Saturday and Sunday and do the two 10-hour shifts and see how he feels about a new interpretation of “safe” and “hurt”. – Yours, etc,


Fortmary Park,


Sir, – The Impact trade union says, “virtually no uniformed public servants” will be affected by any adjustment in higher public service pay (Home News, February 20th).

This is an acknowledgment that the 24/7 workforce is not highly paid, yet the union is colluding with Government to inflict new pay cuts on these lower paid public servants alone. As well as being self-serving and morally reprehensible, this is a short-sighted policy.

I grew up in the trade union tradition. It could be summed up by the motto “an injury to one is an injury to all”. Impact may save the day for its own members, but it is doing untold damage to the principle of trade unionism and to the wider trade union movement. – Is mise,



Co Cork.

Sir, – Now that the public sector trade unions are in full sabre-rattling mode, some home truths need to be reiterated to them.

The current level of unsustainable pay and allowance levels can be largely dated back to benchmarking. Benchmarking arose due to a perceived inequality between public and private sector pay levels. That inequality has long been significantly reversed. However, the private sector now carries the burden of the inequality.

To be consistent, a fresh round of benchmarking is required, but the trade unions will never mention this. They are now adopting the approach that their members can’t afford any more cuts. This is not a viable proposition when the country is financially bankrupt, running an annual deficit of €13 billion.

For this country to borrow more money to pay the public sector payroll is madness and we should be thankful that the troika appears to have told the Government that this is the case. – Yours, etc,


Pine Valley Avenue,


Dublin 16.