Guardian: "Irish public workers face pay cut to plug budget"

This is either hugely significant if it ever happens, or, more likely, is probably just another FF load of tosh - a lot of talk but nothing will ever happen.

The fact that it has been mentioned by Brian will actually convince some people out there that it has actually happened even though nothing actually has or will.

If it does happen, then what are the potential outcomes?

I imagine that there are public service workers who are each carrying two mortgages other than their PPR (i.e. 6 total mortgages) and they need all of there payrises and automatic, non-performance related grade increases, just to keep the boat afloat.
A pay cut would be disasterous for them. As it is, with the rental market going AWOL and emigiration likely the cost of paying even the IO mortgage I imagine could be very difficult.

How would such pay cuts be implemented?
Say 10% accross the board?
Or a sliding scale:
Say 1% if you earn less than 30K
2% if you earn less than 35K but greater than 30K
3% if you earn less than 40K but greater than 35K
4% if you earn less than 45K but greater than 40K
5% if you earn less than 50K but greater than 45K etc.

Of some other fantastic scheme?

Will this be accepted by public service workers?
I would not easily accept a blanket pay cut. I’d have to see the legitimacy of things and as it is this government has zero credibility.
The governmnet has been running one of the worlds most greatest ever Ponzi schemes and supporting it’s Galway Tent friends and those in cabinet with the lavish treaments that only they truly deserve.

The little guy gets shafted again it seems.

So what to be done for Mr. or Ms. Public Servant?
Does he or she just take a pay cut even though in many cases public services are extremely strecthed.

I don’t honestly believe that the government has the sense to cut out and pay redundancy to those in the civil and public service who are actually not working, in “rubber rooms” etc., but instead will introduce an inappropriate malaise to the entire public service population and lead to a failure of commitment from some at a time when we need all hands on deck to get us through this unwholly mess.
There is such a tremendous sense of failure in government that I cannot as yet understand how greater than 75% of FF councillors will retain their seats. Surely the pressure on the Brainless Brians must be mounting. Is it time for a FF revolt?

What will the unions do?
This morning one of the union spokesmen was discussing this issue. He didn’t rule out paycuts. He was almost being interpreted by the interviewer as doing a deal of paycuts for nationalization of the banks.

Here are my solutions:

  1. Make redundant any such rubber room personnel.
  2. Maintain public service workers in work who are providing essential services.
  3. Introduce new offers of more flexible working arrangments such as 3 or 4 day a week working options in return for proportionately less pay.
  4. Have a public debate - telivised on RTE Network FF - showing the discussions between the “social partners”! - Let us all see and hear what they have to offer. Let’s see how they deal. It’s come to the table time, but this time the doors are open.
  5. Remove the contracts for specialist workers deals for all new hires. e.g. it’s open market time and just because you are a surgeon/doctor doesn’t mean that you are automatically entitled to 150K per annum. Nope, it’s who ever we can get that meets the criteria at the most reasonable price that we can offer to get the candidate.
  6. No more automatic grade increases. Scrap that. Replace with something better.
  7. Review spending in all departments. Remove the November and December spendings and set that as the budget for 2009. All future years, 3% decreases expected.
  8. I’ll come up with a few more ideas later…

7% across the board - no time for blame now. It’s all hands on deck. Public Sector pay is simply unsustainable, some people may not like it, some may think that they can’t afford it but the reality is that prices are falling across the board, houses, rent, petrol, shopping up the north - we are living beyond our means and if the private sector are taking cuts - and they are, then the Public Sector has to follow.
Unions will conform - they always do - we have to look at the bigger picture.

2009: The year of the strike.

the problem for the public sector worker is that they have very little room to manouevre in terms of strikes.
if anyone tries to form a picket line in the current environment of job losses and national bankruptcy there’ll be feck all public support.
worse still, there’ll be hoardes of people queuing at the dole office who’ll swing by to hurl abuse amongst other things at any such strike picket line.

it really is a kick in the teeth though for for public sector workers to accept pay cuts from a shower of fools who continually flaunt their disregard for the taxpayer in general, for example by taking 40k expenses that need no auditing for being elected as an independent td when clearly they are now part of a political party. i mean, that’s the pay of one nurse at some point of the scale right there, or a guard.

but i cant see any strike action being much successful. “we just dont have it” will be the response, and this time it will be true.

I’ll take a 7% pay cut, if management and politicans take a 21% pay cut.After all they did 3 times better than me during the boom years.Scrap all tax free payments and bonus payments entirely,no exceptions.
All income should be taxable bar the tax credit that everybody gets.
The little people didn’t go on this spending spree,so i’m not going to take more pain than those that played some part in where we are today.

Well if you are a public sector worker you will be taking your share of the pain - the private sector are and will continue to do so. You may not like it but that’s the way it has to be.

Headline in tomorrow’s Irish Times that the government is looking for a 10% cut in public service pay.

And so it begins.

An equal share buddy,no more no less.None of this across the board crap.

It will be equal - 10% across the board. The whole board.Equally.

Do you know of just one example, just the one, of a Public Service couple (sounds fun, I know) carrying SIX mortgages (in fact it would be FIVE)?

I’d imagine that there will be enough with just the one mortgage who will have difficulty.

Some of the rest of the post makes sense but that bit fascinates me!

This must not become a demonisation of public service workers. But I fear that’s what it is becoming. Fine Gael in particular are doing a great job of cultivating an us against them mentality.

Public servants are as much the victim of government ineptitude as anyone else. They have crippling mortgages and familles to look after to you know. And so what if they have greater job security and conditions?

Because the country needs them to, public servants should take a pay cut. But it should be progressive. To argue that a Clerical Officer should take the same pay cut as an Assistant Secretary is ludicrous.

equal does not mean equality,why do i get the feeling your one of the lads that did well !.
I don’t think ICTU would be crazy enough to agree to pay cuts without being seen to extract a pound of flesh and some “leadership”.And even then ICTU does not represent all workers.

Greater job security is a big plus these days and it’s a lot more than others have. Should public sector workers be demonised? Absolutely not - but the whole public sector pay deal was brought in to bring badly paid public servants up to the par of the private sector workers - who were earning more at that stage. It is only fair that should they have benefited throughout the boom with pay increases then they must come back in line now that the private sector wages are decreasing.

ICTU can disagree all they want - you are too focussed on the perceived rights of a specific group rather then the basic fact which is that we don’t have the money for pay increases - we don’t have the money to pay our public servants - when we did they got paid, now that we don’t we can’t.

One of the lads that did well? What does that mean?

Equal schmeakle.

The ordinary Joe Soap working in the public sector on less than 40K per annum is to be told to take the same 10% pay cut as them that raked it in disproportionately - and you call that equality?

What we need is a breakdown of the salary figures and increases attained over the past decade of such everyday public servants and have them placed in comparison to those applicable to their colleagues in senior management. We then also need a breakdown of the costs incurred by those political appointees to State Boards and quangos, practically all of whom, lets remember, are private sector persons to the core who saw an opportunity to milk the State over the past decade through exploiting their Doheny and Nesbitt type private sector connections to fanagle such positions simply in order to avail of State monies and pensions. We also need to be presented with the figures applicable to those private sector (at heart) professionals in the legal and health sectors who have used their particular private sector expertise perfected on the golf courses and private clubs of the leafier parts of Dublin to in turn milk as much as they could from the States coffers over the past decade and a half. All these pigs have had their snouts in the trough over the past decade and a half to an unbelievable degree eg some Tribunal Barristers regularly claimed the equivalent of four/five average civil servants monthly salaries in their monthly expenses - and this is still going on. These are private sector people who negotiated private sector type contracts with the State and such expenditure is then classified as being “public” and is deemed to be indicative of the waste of those damned public sector scroungers.

So before the usual suspects come on here ranting about the greed of the public sector worker, let them first consider the reality that it was those schooled in the ways of the private sector, and who are private sector at heart, that have bankrupted the State - not the average Garda, nurse or civil servant who often mortgaged themselves to the hilt in order to put a roof over their heads (the fucking cheek of them eh!) simply because the private sector heroes had deemed that we were now the 2nd richest country in the world and could accordingly afford to pay 2nd richest country in the world house prices. So while much of the trough may been public, a very large percentage (granted not all) of the the pigs have tended to be private to the core.

Paycuts are required and will happen. However lets be honest about why such measures are necessary. And “equality” doesnt come into it.

An so your worm turns,senior management received huge pay rises(far in excess of ordinary workers) on the basis that they were the equivalent of ceo’s,MD etc. and were all about to jump ship to the private sector,politicans piggybacked on this as an “independent” mechanism.
All i’m saying is you cannot cut peoples wages without agreement,and from what i’m hearing ordinary workers are not going to be left holding the short straw this time.

Those at the top should suffer the largest cut. Those at the very bottom none.

Irish Times says cuts may be between 5% and 10%. However the implication is that the actual pay cuts will be very small, with most of the cuts made up of redundancies etc.