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Monday, May 17, 2010


Dr. Liam Twomey of Fine Gael believes that public sector workers have an issue with trusting the Government to fulfil its side of the Croke Park Deal. Speaking in the Seanad, he said that there is a need to stabilise industrial relations across the public sector and to commence implementation programmes that underpin this deal in the immediate future. “The reason for this is that productivity and competitiveness within the entire economy are greatly influenced by the public sector. If we do not deal with the industrial disputes that are taking place at present or if we fail to introduce reforms as a matter of urgency, this will affect our ability to emerge from the recession.”
“The Government must ensure that they retain the public and civil services’ positive aspects while implementing the reform programme. For this reason it is important that public servants can buy into the deal. However despite reassurances that those who earn less than €35,000 per annum will be the first to benefit from any economic improvements that may occur as a result of the deal’s implementation, the unions which represent the lower paid within the civil and public service were the first to reject the deal.”
Dr. Twomey pointed out that the cutbacks to services provided by public servants such as home helps, special needs assistant, nurses and junior doctors are having an impact on frontline services for the people who need them. “The mismanagement of our economy that will see us borrow hundreds of million of euros over the next five years will not just affect public sector workers but all taxpayers can expect higher taxes and less services in the years to come. Therefore, I believe that the Government needs to acknowledge its role in causing this bad situation for public sector workers by saying sorry to them. As the Taoiseach Brian Cowen showed last weekend, he does not seem to believe that he must apologise for anything, not even to the public servants and service users who the government has put in this mess in the first place. All the gains public sector workers made from the first and second benchmarking processes have effectively disappeared as a result of the Government’s mismanagement of the economy. Soon the interest costs on our national debt will be the same as the cost of running the Department of Education; this is a crisis we cannot ignore.”

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