Late last night it was announced that up to 13,000 Irish civil servants will be going on strike next week. They are doing so because of the Government’s newly enforced pension levy. So it’s planned that next Thursday (Thursday 26th Feb 2009) that the public sector administrative and clerical workers will go on strike. Most government departments will be effected, including the extremely overworked social welfare offices, tax and passport offices.
The general consensus with the public servants is that this is totally unacceptable. From the 13, 000 workers, over 11,000 returned ballots (almost 85%) and 83% of these (about 9,000) vote in favour of strike action. The Department of Finance already stated on Monday that they will not be in a position to pay workers for this striking day.
The levy increase was set to increase from 3% to 9.6% in an effort to save some of the exchequer losses in the region of €2 billion. There is also the deferral of the national wages increase, which is the equivalent to a 12% wages cut.
So does striking make things better ? Is the Irish economy already under fire enough, without more problems ? The average wages of a clerical officer grade is €30,000 , which is higher than then national average wage, and there is research stating that our civil servants wages are some of the top in the world.
By the way you can find Public Sector jobs on http://www.publicjobs.ie/, there does seem to be some openings.