Unite calls on Government to commit immediately to principle of pay equality

unite-white-out-of-redPublic Sector pay inequalities require urgent resolution

October 30th: Unite today called on the Government to give an unambiguous commitment to the principle of equal pay for equal work. Unite’s statement comes as ASTI members take industrial action over pay inequalities which mean that a teacher starting in 2016 may earn up to €8,000 less than the same new entrant would have earned six years ago.

Commenting, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:

“The current pay discrimination against new entrants to the public sector is unacceptable and must be addressed. This is now an emergency issue requiring resolution by Government. This is not just a matter for ASTI members: it is totally unacceptable to all workers that their colleagues doing the same work are not paid the same wages.  Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental principle and its application was hard-won by the trade union movement.

“All unions who signed up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement would recognise that this issue of equality must be addressed urgently and in accordance with the fundamental principle of equal pay for equal work.  And members of the Government, who would not accept that newly-elected TDs should be paid less than any other TD, should also accept this principle”, Jimmy Kelly said.

Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne, who was involved in the Lansdowne Road talks on behalf of Unite, added:

“Unite is calling on the Government to issue an immediate statement of commitment to the principle of pay equality.

“There can be no impediment to addressing and resolving this issue.  If economic circumstances were to worsen, we know that this Government would be quick to reverse aspects of the Lansdowne Road agreement in order to impose further wage cuts.  Given that we are now in recovery, the Government should be equally quick to commit to the principle of pay equality”, Richie Browne concluded.

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