Great to see workers, retired and not, standing up for their rights. The National Ambulance Service Representative Association were protesting outside the Dail and the ESB pensioners rallying just yards away. I was privileged to address them

We all heard about GOLD-PLATED PENSIONS. The impression given was that public service employees were being too well ‘looked after’. The truth is that only very senior civil and public servants (and politicians) got fat pensions – the remainder of nurses, teachers, gardai, defence force personnel, etc etc have very modest pensions and these are being undermined. The pensioners want access to the industrial relations mechanisms as is their due. I spoke to this yesterday in the Dáil.

HOMELESSNESS, FEMPI, PESCO . Q: What’s the odd-man-out? A: They only have money for the last one. PESCO is the new army they signed us up to lat night (neutrality???) at the cost of €3-4 billion – more than housing homeless children or paying public sector workers would cost. Criminal. And Fianna Fáil the Independents aided and abetted them. I spoke on this the Dáil.

Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest  OR FEMPI is now the longest lasting piece of emergency legislation in the history of the State – despite the ‘recovery’. And the government wants to make it permanent. FEMPI ensures discrimination against new workers in the public sector – less money for the same work; it holds down pay rises, increases working hours, wrecks pensions and will ensure that if the nurses, teachers, fireworkers and other essential public servants accept this – the public sector will be next. ALL workers must fight to defeat this attack on our rights. I spoke about this in the Dáil today

I had the privelege of moving this bill. We want worker’s rights protected in projects that are funded by public money. Very often the state colludes deliberately or by accidently, in doing workers down. It does this by awarding contracts to firms that treat their employees shamefully, or who sub-contract to others to do so. The State must end this practice, which only fuels the ‘race to the bottom’ for workers.

Deputy Brid Smith today welcomed and supported the pay claims made by various groups of workers from both private and public sector.

 In leaders questions with the Taoiseach she pointed out the hypocrisy of recent  statements from Government ministers and others like John Moran , formerly Ministers Noonan’s Sec Gen at Finance.

Deputy Smith challenged the Taoiseach on why it is only worker’s wages that face constraints, while profits, rents, insurance costs or health care face no such constraints or limits. Only workers face the tough talking and posturing of Varadkar or Moran etc. she stated.Read more »