Tuesday 23 January 2018

Government meddling only damages workers

Ervia chief executive Michael McNicholas
Ervia chief executive Michael McNicholas
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Two parties are to blame for this latest Irish Water controversy - the Government, for only raising an objection to workers receiving performance-related payments following a public outcry, and company management for not having the gumption to tell the Coalition to mind its own business.

Back in 2012, Ervia made it abundantly clear that if it won the contract to establish a new water utility, it would pay workers based on performance. High achievers could earn between 2.75pc and up to 19pc of salary, and the pay model would actually reduce payroll costs by €34m over a five-year period.

There was no feigned horror, nor objections raised. That is, until repeated public protests last year forced the hand of a weak administration unwilling to stand over its decisions and TDs and ministers started talking about a clampdown.

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