Pension Bill is a punitive measure

Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

 

Sir, – The Public Service Pay and Pension Bill currently before the Dáil states unequivocally that for the period beginning on January 1st, 2018, and ending on December 31st, 2020, no increment shall be awarded to a non-covered public servant, and that the operation of the pay-scale that applies in respect of a non-covered public servant shall stand suspended, and with the effect that the point on that pay-scale that shall be applicable in respect of a non-covered public servant on January 1st, 2021, shall be that which was applicable on January 1st, 2018, in respect of him or her.

This is an outrageous and anti-democratic measure. A three-year freeze on increments is an entirely punitive measure designed to force unions and workers into submission.

It represents a major loss of earnings for workers not just in the short term but over the rest of their working lives. Its effect is greatest on workers who are at the early stages of the pay scale, compounding the unfairness of the current discriminatory pay-scale for public servants employed after 2011.

It is a nonsense to talk about the restoration of pay for so-called “non-covered” public servants. The minor increases to salaries will be far outweighed by the loss in increments for many workers and the arbitrary setting aside of their salary scale.

It is entirely shameful that the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has not objected in any way to this measure. Equally shameful is the silence of Siptu, Impact, the PSEU and other unions. The three teacher unions should be leading a strong campaign against the Bill.

This Bill, specifically its section 21, is shocking in its coercion, destruction of normal industrial relations practice and impact on individual workers.

It is incumbent on all members of the Dáil who respect democracy and the rights of workers to oppose this Bill. This is a defining issue. – Yours, etc,

HELEN MAHONY,

Dublin 13.