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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 7 May 1969

Vol. 240 No. 5

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Board of Works Employees' Wages.


asked the Minister for Finance what arrangements have been made to meet the trade unions' demand for an increase in wages of Office of Public Works employees with effect from 1st April, 1969.

The Deputy will be aware that a working party drawn from the public services committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Departments of Finance, Labour and Posts and Telegraphs has been set up to examine the pay position in the public service on the determination of present agreements, with particular reference to the lower-paid workers. Pending receipt and consideration of the report of the working party, the Commissioners of Public Works will not be in a position to take action.

The Deputy is well aware that this committee was set up last week but the request submitted to the Office of Public Works and to other Government Departments was made quite some time ago. Would the Parliamentary Secretary say why it is that State Departments, in common with other employers of low-paid labour, made no attempt to bring up the wages with effect from 1st April, or is it because, as Deputy Henry Kenny's question asks, they have not yet paid out arrears due for increases given in April, 1968? Is that the reason why they have not given the increase?

I have told the Deputy that this and other questions of a similar kind in relation to payment of workers are being considered at the present time by the working party. We should await the findings of the working party on which the men's trade unions are represented before we take any action.

The Parliamentary Secretary does not seem to understand the position. A request for a wage adjustment in common with other employers of lower paid labour was made some time ago. Why did the State not give an adjusting increase the same as the other people did and leave the remainder to be dealt with by the people who are now discussing it?

These applications were made quite a short time ago and they are now being considered by the working party.

It is just a dodge.

The remaining questions will appear on tomorrow's Order Paper.

In view of the unsatisfactory reply to Question No. 26, I wish to give notice of my intention to raise the subject matter of the question on the Adjournment.

The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.