Public service productivity must be recognised – IMPACT Health & Welfare division conference


Tony Martin
Tony Martin, chair, IMPACT Health & Welfare division, addressing delegates at the divisional conference in Ennis.

The chair of IMPACT’s Health and Welfare division has told delegates at the division’s conference this evening (Wednesday 6th May) that public service productivity must be recognised as unions and the Government prepare for talks on public sector pay restoration.

Tony Martin told delegates that the productivity achieved by workers speaks for itself, “We have delivered and responded to the demands placed upon public services by a growing population. Ireland’s population has increased by 350,000 since 2006, while there are 30,000 fewer public servants in Ireland than there were when the crisis hit in 2008.

“At the same time we’ve responded to the needs of an additional 630,000 medical card holders and the needs of a population that is growing older and in greater need of health services. Our members continue to respond to that demand, demonstrating their deep commitment to public service delivery, and an exceptional record of continuing productivity” he said.

Mr Martin said members could not entertain any further alterations to terms and conditions of employment. “We’ve had enough of taking backward steps and this week, this conference, marks the point at which we should begin to move forward again and start talking about recovery.

“IMPACT has argued, consistently, that pay recovery across all sectors is a vital ingredient to sustaining economic recovery. It’s great to hear that pay rounds have begun in the private sector, that really is good news for the economy. Pay improvements in the public sector are a vital next step, and will help to sustain economic recovery by putting a bit more spending power in the hands of workers. The effects of public sector pay improvements will be felt across the whole country. That’s why IMPACT has continued to argue that the whole country needs a pay rise.

“The minister said last week that these talks are happening now because the productivity gains made over the last few years have made it possible to look at the issue of pay restoration. I think it’s important that public service productivity is recognised” he said.

The division represents workers across a wide variety of employments, including the HSE, hospitals, section 38 and 39 funded agencies, mental health facilities, disabilities and community services. These include clerical admin staff, health and social care professionals, and other health related grades.

The conference continues until Friday at Treacy’s West County Hotel in Ennis, County Clare.