‘It is important common sense and calm heads prevail.’
Sligo News File
“Public services have to be rebuilt after they were cut to the bone over the past few years.” The apparent acknowledgment of the scale of the economic destruction wreaked on the country by the last Fianna Fail-led Government has been voiced by party TD, Dara Calleary.
Commenting on last night’s pay agreement with the gardai, Calleary said the Fine Gael-Fianna Fail Partnership “must now get the Public Sector Pay Commission to engage with public sector unions immediately.
He said, “The Government must address the implications for the entire public sector as a result of last night’s pay agreement with representatives of members of An Garda Síochána.
“While the expected cost of this pay agreement between the Government, the GRA, and the AGSI will not put too much strain on the public exchequer, the possible knock-on effects are of great concern to Fianna Fáil.
“Already, we have heard from other public sector unions looking for similar type agreements for their members. It is important that common sense and calm heads prevail as the Government may indeed be in danger of providing for a perfect storm of pay demand and industrial unrest.
“Minister Donoghue must immediately request that the Public Sector Pay Commission meet all of the trade unions as a matter of urgency to listen to their concerns and grievances.”
The parameters of the Lansdowne Road Agreement must be maintained, he said.
“However, it now looks inevitable that negotiations on a potential successor agreement may have to start much earlier than previously envisaged.
“It is crucial that Minister Donohue manages expectations as the country can ill afford unstructured pay increases across the board when half of the country is still waiting to feel the effects of any recovery and when public services have to be rebuilt after they were cut to the bone over the past few years.
He said that with global investors “looking at Ireland right now,” the country must be confident in its management of public sector pay agreements.
“With the looming multiple threats from Brexit, now more than ever, the Government needs to get a handle on the issue of public pay, and project Ireland’s budgetary stability,” he said
Meanwhile, concern is growing over the absence of Government investment is job creation in Ballina where Calleary is the local TD.
Other TDs for the North Mayo capital include Lisa Chambers (Fianna Fail), the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Michael Ring, both Fine Gael. Local senators are Michelle Mulherin (Fine Gael), Dr. Keith Swanick, Fianna Fail and Rose Conway-Walsh, Sinn Fein. No new manufacturing or substantial service sector activity has been established in the town or most other parts of the region for some long time.