Tuesday 12 December 2017

Staff nurse versus Senators: who loses what under Croke Park II

Anne-Marie Walsh and Nicola Anderson

A STAFF nurse will suffer an 11.4pc loss in pay but just 1pc will be cut from a senator’s earnings under the Croke Park II deal, according to a new report.

New figures commissioned by unions opposing the agreement reveal huge differences in the impact of the proposed agreement on a variety of public servants.


Compiled by an actuary, it says staff nurses would suffer a €5,662 loss to their €49,501 pay, compared with a €621 loss for a senator on €65,621.


It says gardai would be hit by a 5pc reduction in wages, while firefighters would be down 3pc.


Paramedics and care assistants would suffer deeper cuts of over nine percent, while mid-ranking civil servants face reductions in the region of seven percent.


The report by Joseph G Byrne and Sons Consulting Actuaries for the 24/7 Frontline Services Alliance, assesses the deal to cut €1bn from the state payroll over three years.


The cuts include extra unpaid hours, reductions in overtime pay and allowances and a freeze on increments for the country’s 290,000 public servants.


In addition, those earning over €65,000-a-year will suffer a pay cut of over 5.5pc from July, if the agreement is ratified by union members.


Government ministers and senior union officials have insisted the agreement is as fair as can be achieved by all grades of staff.


But the new report casts doubt on these claims and details major discrepancies in how the deal will affect workers.


However, the chief government negotiator on the Croke Park deal has disagreed with union figures.


Assistant Secretary at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Paul Reid, cast doubt on data that is circulating about the impact on typical workers.


Speaking at an Industrial Relations News conference in UCD, he pointed out that 72pc of nurses do not work overtime and the deal would reduce their gross pay by three percent.


The impact on a typical primary teacher was 3.5pc gross or 1.9pc net pay cut while a typical garda would be impacted with a 3.2pc gross pay cut or 1.9pc after tax, he claimed.


However speaking afterwards, head of the Garda Representative Association PJ Stone dismissed his claims.


"I dispute these examples absolutely," he said.


He said the reality was that the average garda earning €40,000, who was obliged to work Sundays, would lose €2,500 gross pay, which is 6.25pc.

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