7 April (Sinn Féin Newsroom) Reports this evening that the government is prepared to bully public servants by legislating to cut their pay and freeze their increments, if they do not accept Croke Park 2 within weeks, demonstrates astonishing cynicism from public expenditure minister, Brendan Howlin.
Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD said: “How cynical is it to ask the Labour Relations Commission to engage again with unions on Croke Park 2, if the government has no intention of listening to what the workers have to say?
“Renewed negotiations should mean to a return to the drawing board and an examination of alternatives to the slashing of the pay and worsening of conditions of frontline public servants.
“These ‘leaks’ from ‘government sources’ are designed to frighten workers into accepting a repackaged deal which they already rightly rejected. The minister is continuing with confrontation and bullyboy tactics.
“Minister Howlin must tackle runaway pay and gold-plated pensions for those at the top of the public service and engage with gardaí, nurses and other frontline staff unions constructively.
“Right across Europe there is an acceptance that austerity has failed and a new approach is needed. Slashing the pay of low and middle income public sector workers will do nothing for the domestic economy, the hundreds of thousands on the dole or the tens of thousands emigrating.”