Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has called on the government to end pay inequality in the public service by the end of the current public pay agreement.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Sinn Féin has continually called on the government to reverse the pay inequality imposed on public sector workers since 2011.

“Over 60,000 public sector workers receive less pay than their colleagues for equal work, including 20% of our education workforce and 10,000 nurses.

“The proposal put forward by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in November 2018 proposes that all these workers will continue to face pay inequality until 2026.

“Thankfully this discriminatory approach has been rejected by the rank and file and leaderships of the nursing and teaching unions. Persistent pay inequality, as well as being wrong on so many levels, is now a serious impediment to the ability of these professions to hire the necessary talent needed to fill the gaps in our schools, hospitals, and health care facilities.

“We have called on Fine Gael, and Fianna Fáil who prop them up in government, to provide full pay equality by the beginning of 2020, not 2026.

“This would mean all post-2011 entrants receiving an initial pay increase at the beginning of 2019, with full equality reached by the beginning of 2020. This proposal was entirely achievable in the context of the most recent budget but ignored in the pursuit of rewarding those on large incomes.

“In order to avert industrial action and to end this discrimination the government must urgently begin a real process of engagement with public sector unions. The government must ensure frontline public services are not further threatened in the midst of a recruitment and retention crisis, by providing for full pay equality by the end of the current pay deal.”