International led commission to decide on appropriate pay structures.
Public private sector pay differentials must be reduced.
Unions excessive pay demands must be resisted.
ISME, Friday 24th April 2015.
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, has warned the Government not to play fast and loose with the public purse when dealing with Public Sector pay claims. Today’s report from the National Competitiveness Council stresses the need for pay restraint to ensure that there is no negative upward spiral, which would threaten the country’s overall competitiveness. The Association called on the Government to introduce a Pay Commission, chaired by an international expert, to adjudicate on the level of remuneration in the public sector.
According to ISME CEO, Mark Fielding, “In a pre-election period, it is imperative that pay-setting is removed from the political arena and adjudicated on fairly and transparently, taking into account the international comparisons. Without this, the public sector bargaining will once again revert to the public sector tail wagging the political dog, compounding inequality, imbalance and unfairness and eroding competitiveness”.
“The incessant calls for a ‘pay restoration’ must be quashed. It would be instructive to remember the two great disasters of the last decade, the massive pay increases for higher public servants and the secretive benchmarking process for the remainder, both driven by re-election seeking politicians, based on irresponsible terms of reference and inappropriate relativities, which drove government expenditure over a cliff”.
“The very fact that Minister Brendan Howlin wants to sit down with public sector unions to ‘begin the process of reversing the public sector pay cuts’, is being greeted with incredulity by small business owners who are working all the hours, merely to survive.”
“The Government’s fear of the public sector, in the run-in to an election, is a major problem, while we still need to borrow €500m every month to pay our running expenses. Added to this, the public sector unions have started their well-orchestrated whinge-fest, despite the massive pay gap. We cannot afford the cost and the Government must grasp the nettle or we will be back into a bailout faster than you can say ‘Troika’.”
The Association called for:
A comprehensive international led commission to review public sector wages, conditions, perks and increments.
The CSO and the ESRI to produce indisputable comparisons between public and private sectors in Ireland and between Ireland and its international comparators.
Improved efficiencies within the public sector to bring it to world class status.
“We must have an efficient public sector, which is an important and essential component of any modern economy, but it has to be cost effective, delivering value for money. The temptation of incumbent political interference in public sector pay-setting must be removed. This can be achieved by an independent international led commission”, concluded Fielding.