Average public sector pay 43% higher than private sector.
Introduction of a Public Sector Pay Commission essential.
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, at the release of the CSO Earnings & Labour costs figures today (25th February), called on the politicians elected to the next Dail to establish an independent Public Sector Pay Commission to determine all future pay arrangements across the public sector. The Association warned that the ongoing political involvement in public sector pay setting meant the public purse is being used to buy votes, while politicians shy away from making the tough decisions necessary to protect and sustain the recovery.
Today’s CSO figures on earnings and labour costs show an average increase of 1.4%, in line with previous estimates. However the increase in public sector is 2.2%, adding to the already vast difference between public and private sectors, now standing at 43% (€931- €650). When compared to the average wages in a small business (€561) the differential rises to 66%.
According to ISME CEO, Mark Fielding, “It’s time to take the politics out of public sector pay setting and introduce an independent commission to examine the current levels of public sector pay and to take action to bring pay rates into line, not alone with their private sector equivalents but with their equivalents across Europe.”
“It will take a particularly brave government to actually implement reform in this area and, unfortunately, governments of that description are as rare as hens’ teeth. Failure to act now will increase the risk of another claim-jumping frenzy in the labour market. We need to set fair pay rates, and cease automatic increments in order to eliminate the massive differential between public and private pay”.
The Association called for:
An international led commission to review public sector wages, conditions, perks and increments.
Improved efficiencies within the public sector to bring it to world class status.
Scrap the overly-restrictive rules on out-sourcing.
“Political interference in public sector pay-setting must be removed. The current system is a temptation and gives much too much power to politicians, dependent on the public sector vote. An independent commission should ensure fairness, balance and equity”,concluded Fielding.