Minister Varadkar’s threat to increments a clear signal that public service workers must ready themselves for fresh battles
Union leaders who sold Croke Park deal to members on the basis it would protect pay must now be held to account by members
“The attack on increments by Minister Varadkar should not be interpreted by public service workers as a solo run but an early warning that they have fresh battles on their hands.
“Likewise on the issue of allowances and core pay it is clear that all the cuts and job losses forced on the public service workforce thanks to the Croke Park agreement has not bought in return (as was promised by the leaders of some unions) the protection of those remaining in their jobs from further attacks.
“Time and again since the crisis began the trade union leadership, particularly in SIPTU and IMPACT have told their members in the public service to accept cuts like the pensions levy, the pay cuts of 2010 and subsequently Croke Park implying on each occasion that they would be left alone thereafter.
“The Socialist Party and ULA stands out against the vilification of public sector workers by the political establishment and right wing media. Every attack on the take home pay of public servants has actually furthered the economic crisis by taking money out of the pockets of predominantly low and middle income workers with a knock on impact on the private sector which is obvious to most people but not Minister Varadkar.
“The lesson should be learned by everybody that whatever we might give up in terms of pay, conditions, new tax impositions and welfare cuts it will never be enough for this government and the boss class. Therefore there should be no further avoiding of a determined fight to protect what we have.”