Defend public sector jobs, pay, pensions and services

According to Brian Cowen, Enda Kenny, Michael O’Leary and the ESRI, the public sector is overpaid, overstaffed and inefficient and the best way to end the economic crisis is to sack thousands of public sector workers and cut the pay and pensions of the rest!

The ESRI published out of date and completely inaccurate statistics claiming that public sector workers were paid much more than private sector workers.

The main grade in the civil service is clerical officer. The starting pay for a clerical officer is €400 a week and after having worked for 16 years that increases to the grand sum of €700 a week. The majority of CPSU members are low paid and struggling to make ends meet after the imposition of the pension levy and the other budget tax increases.

Public sector workers are angry. They are sick of being vilified by politicians and media pundits like Eddie Hobbs who recently said that “we” had a choice of either social welfare cuts that will hurt the most vulnerable in society, or cuts in public sector workers’ pay and job losses. Well Eddie, you can stuff your choice because public sector workers are not prepared to be scapegoated for a crisis caused by your mates in Fianna Fail, the bankers and the greedy speculators.

Public sector workers are starting to fight back. Thousands of nurses, firefighters, gardai and soldiers have been meeting to discuss how they can stop the government’s attacks. IMPACT are balloting their 55,000 members for strike action in the event of the government trying to impose pay cuts and job losses.

But public sector workers be warned – leading officials in some public sector unions are prepared to “oppose” pay cuts and job losses by supporting the extension of your working week without extra pay!

There should be no deals with the government. The starting position must be – what we have we hold – we will not accept any cuts in pay, pensions or jobs. We need a united and co-ordinated campaign that links all 300,000 public sector workers.
Public sector spending cuts will hurt the economy and cause more job losses in the private sector. The last two austerity budgets have already taken the equivalent of 5% of GDP out of the economy. Cuts in education and health and in all other areas of the public sector will impact on the quality of life of our children and all working class people no matter where you work!

Workers must resist the divide and rule tactics of the right wing parties and their lackeys in the media. Private sector and public sector workers will be united on the 6 November in the major demonstrations against the government. That unity must be built upon.

A one-day public sector strike would bring the government to its knees. Public sector workers should get motions passed calling on their unions to organise for a one-day public sector strike. Let’s build up the pressure and take the fight to the government.