Monday 18 December 2017

Change Croke Park deal, urge students

Katherine Donnelly

THIRD-level students have called for a renegotiation of the Croke Park deal so that the pay and pensions of public servants can be cut.

The Union of Students Ireland (USI) says public service salaries must be moved "more into line with the new economic realities".

It comes on the heel of a new opinion poll showing 65pc support among the public for a renegotiation of the Croke Park pay and productivity deal.

The poll, carried out for USI by Red C, also found that among students, there was 75pc support for a revision.

USI president Gary Redmond said that with more than 75pc of the €8.59bn education budget absorbed by pay and pensions, it left €2.14bn for the non-pay element.

While the Budget saw cuts in services to students, more than 60 staff in the education sector had salaries in excess of €150,000 and about 500 were on the professorial salary scale, €113,573- €145,952, said the USI president.

The Croke Park agreement would "allow the highest earning public servants to sit safely in their ivory towers while countless others struggle to make ends meet".

Urging renegotiation, Mr Redmond said USI believed that in the current economic circumstances the pay and pension provisions negotiated were no longer sustainable.

Irish Independent

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