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  • Depressing News for Trade Unionists as Tesco Sales Fall and Aldi and Lidl Increase Market Share
    Insurance Educational Support Scheme Health Insurance Advisory Service Hospital Saturday Fund Legal Services Membership Prize Draw Circulars Circulars 2015 Circulars 2014 Decentralisation Diversity Diversity Resources Publications Review Annual Report etc Union Rules Ictu Neri Newsletter About Executive Committee Videos Full Time Officials Annual Delegate Conference Membership Service Charter Info for Branches Justice for Colombia Putumayo Buenaventura Training Recruitment Toolkit PSEU Blog Latest News Agriculture Irish Lights Revenue Group Committee Sub Branches EC Members Standing Orders Committee Revenue Group Rules Contact Us Home The Public Service Executive Union represents Executive Grades in the Civil Service the wider Public Sector Search Depressing News for Trade Unionists as Tesco Sales Fall and Aldi and Lidl Increase Market Share By Tom Geraghty Monday 8th September 2014 0 comments More Depressing News for Trade Unionists as Tesco Sales Fall and Aldi and Lidl Increase Market Share Tesco UK s fall in sales of 3 8 in the quarter to 20th July 2014 should be of concern to all Trade Unionists as Tesco is a fully unionised company having to compete with the aggressively anti union Aldi Lidl both of whom recorded sales growth of double digits in the same period Some Trade Union members might

    Original URL path: http://www.pseu.ie/xxxx/depressing-news-for-trade-unionists-as-tesco-sales-fall-and-aldi-and-lidl-increase-market-share.334.html (2015-10-30)
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  • Déjà Vu
    one Yet again it would appear that we have learned nothing All commentators are in agreement that our slump was fuelled by an exaggerated rise in house prices and the destruction of our tax base which as a result became overly dependent on property transaction taxes such as stamp duty However we are witnessing currently a mini property boom in our cities regarded apparently as a good thing and the spectacle of Government Ministers vying to be the first to promise further cuts in our taxes It would be easy but mistaken to lay the blame for this repeated unwise behaviour at the feet of politicians The truth is that although we are among the lowest taxed economies in the EU there is a a widespread belief often portrayed as fact that we are over taxed and it would be political suicide for any serious politician to state publicly that in fact we need more Government revenue to fund decent public services not less Even the political left in this State particularly the far Left often seek to have their left wing credentials judged by the vehemence of their opposition to the raising of revenue for public services However small Government benefits only the rich who can afford to buy their own health care education security etc Middle and lower income earners do not have that luxury They rely on the State to use its revenues to provide these essentials In the case of Public Servants they are totally dependent on Government revenue for their very livelihood Of course there are inequities in our tax system not least the ability of the self employed to write off so much of their expenditure against tax liabilities That does not help but it is equally true that that there is widespread resistance

    Original URL path: http://www.pseu.ie/xxxx/d%c3%a9j%c3%a0-vu.331.html (2015-10-30)
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  • Blog: Public Service Pay & Recent Commentary
    scarabini Tuesday 26th August 2014 0 comments The topic of Public Sector Pay has been on the airwaves in recent days and disappointingly has been completely misrepresented by certain media commentators Recent CSO figures attempt to provide a glancing snapshot of earnings in different sectors Such snapshots are not answers to questions but they can be useful for guiding us towards questions that need to be asked The rational response to such figures is to patiently look for trends or take time to understand the stories behind the numbers Of course if you can t be bothered to take the time to do so it might just be easier to make rash statements based on decontextualized information that can be twisted to support any claim Some commentators have looked at Public Service Pay numbers and done a back of the envelope comparison to Private Sector wages without it seems any thought whatsoever given to trying to understand why the differences might exist While that in itself is very disappointing it is not the most disappointing part of this most recent commentariat cycle There is quite simply a much bigger story contained within the statistics One particularly useful feature of the CSO figures is the four year statistical comparison provided While again based on snapshots it does at least provide some additional context The four year Public Administration comparison is a much more important story When average weekly Public Sector earnings from Q2 2010 are compared with average weekly earnings in Q2 2014 an averaged decrease of 2 6 is shown Put in context according to the CSO report of the fourteen sectors measured only two performed worse Furthermore if we take 2014 alone the CSO statistics reveal that average weekly earnings in the Pubic Sector have fallen by 1 To

    Original URL path: http://www.pseu.ie/xxxx/blog-public-service-pay-recent-commentary.325.html (2015-10-30)
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  • Public Service Pensions
    the grand total of 5 qualified for 150k out of hundreds who retired that year brought the issue of Public Service pensions back into public discourse with all the predictable bigotry from ISME et al As usual the reporting made no attempt to contextualise the broader issue and plumped for the predictable reductionism that we have come to expect on the issue turning it into a public v private slagging match In fact we emerged as a society in 2009 after 20 plus years of huge economic growth with a ticking pensions time bomb Traditionally we have depended on a pensions model that saw the State provide a modest basic pension on the basis that much of the workforce would have this supplemented with an occupational pension paid for by a combination of workers and employers contributions Our years of excess saw an increasing number of employments opt out of this model so that substantial numbers of our workforce face the prospect of survival in old age solely on their meagre State entitlement Some legacy from all that prosperity Furthermore even traditional good employers began to question the cost to them of guaranteeing pensions to their workforce which was not a cost borne by their competitors and an ever increasingly de unionised private sector workforce ignored or failed to understand the need to pressurise for the maintenance of decent pension provision Even more devastatingly the economic collapse after 2008 combined with tightened arguably unrealistic funding requirements set by the pensions regulator saw Defined Benefit funds being closed down restructured or most tellingly in the case of Waterford Crystal just abandoned with catastrophic results for those who had paid into these funds for many years of their working lives Scarcely a Defined Benefit scheme in the country is in good condition

    Original URL path: http://www.pseu.ie/xxxx/public-service-pensions.323.html (2015-10-30)
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  • Public Services Pay
    By Tom Geraghty Friday 15th August 2014 0 comments Public Service Pay by Tom Geraghty The reports of the comments by Minister Brendan Howlin regarding possible talks next year to begin the restoration of cuts imposed on Public Servants will not have come as a surprise to our members as we are currently in the midst of meetings around the country to discuss our priorities in such talks It is illuminating and somewhat disturbing to read the comments on line from our neighbours friends and even in some instances family members of Public Servants regarding these talks The long campaign of vilification of Public Servants in our media has resulted in antipathy towards Public Servants that has no basis in rational fact and that overlooks the disproportionate share of the burden borne by Public Servants in recent years Fortunately however the Minister s position has been consistent in that he always stated that the measures affecting Public Servants arose due to emergency circumstances and as the emergency winds down so too does the need for emergency measures Undoubtedly as Sean Carabini noted in his blog earlier this week there is a political element to this situation as the Minister and his colleagues can scarcely be unmindful of the voting strength of 289 000 Public Servants in the next General Election scheduled for 2016 There is nothing particularly remarkable about a Government seeking to undo serious harm inflicted on a sizeable group in advance of an election and in this case any concept of fairness would justify such actions However Public Servants ought not to get over expectant The maths are simple With 289 000 Public Servants every 1 000 restored will cost the Exchequer 289m Just how much restoration can be achieved is therefore still dependant on our economic performance

    Original URL path: http://www.pseu.ie/xxxx/public-services-pay.316.html (2015-10-30)
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  • Remebering Columbia, 16th May, 1984
    the difficulty in keeping memory alive Even worse try googling Bogota 16 May 1984 and discover that nothing useful comes up about that date The truth is that such is the level of political violence in Colombia individual instances get forgotten quickly Who will remember or care about the 4 trade unionists murdered by state forces in May of this year in the Putumayo province After all this is a country where 3 000 trade unionists have been murdered in the past 25 years We who live in a society where people are generally free to join unions or to participate in civil society find it hard to believe that doing so sets up individuals to be perceived as internal threats and to face the prospect of being murdered or disappeared or just jailed Yet in Colombia that is what happens Even worse is the fact that in many cases it is the state in an ostensible democracy that engages in such repression In the past few weeks Lilliany Obondo has been put under house arrest In recent years Lilliany who survived the State backed genocide of the Patriotic Union movement in the 1980s was held in prison for two years without ever going to trial Her former University teacher Miguel Angel Beltran spent two years in prison in similar circumstances followed by three years in exile and he too in recent weeks has suffered as he has now been dismissed from his university job on the same charges for which he was arrested but subsequently freed In both cases their crime is to present an analysis and to advocate an openness to Colombian society that we would regard as mainstream In the case of Huber Ballesteros he is in jail charged with rebellion though his real offence seems to be that he is a union leader who led a peasant strike last year In the meantime Colombia s 50 year old civil war provides justification for state repression There is some good news on that front as the re election recently of President Santos keeps peace talks going in Cuba his closest opponent was in adamant opposition to the peace process The FARC guerrillas are themselves no saints They too have been equally cavalier in their attitude to civilian casualties and all sides stand tainted by their links to the narco trade However the underlying causes that created FARC of poverty massive inequality and state repression remain in place In addition peasants continue to be displaced from their land so that oil and other valuable commodities can be extracted and right wing paramilitaries set up by landowners and business people wreak terror in slum cities like Buenaventura Colombia s biggest port which has African levels of poverty and has become notorious for its chop houses in which those deemed to have crossed the paramilitaries are literally chopped to bits with machetes their screams are deemed useful in warning local residents of the dangers of crossing the paramilitaries The foot

    Original URL path: http://www.pseu.ie/xxxx/remembering-columbia-16th-may-1984.314.html (2015-10-30)
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  • A World After Haddington Road? Some thoughs on Minister Howlin'sComments.
    Annual Delegate Conference Membership Service Charter Info for Branches Justice for Colombia Putumayo Buenaventura Training Recruitment Toolkit PSEU Blog Latest News Agriculture Irish Lights Revenue Group Committee Sub Branches EC Members Standing Orders Committee Revenue Group Rules Contact Us Home The Public Service Executive Union represents Executive Grades in the Civil Service the wider Public Sector Search A World After Haddington Road Some thoughts on Minister Howlin s Comments By scarabini Monday 11th August 2014 0 comments Last week Brendan Howlin Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform stated that some of the Public Sector pay and pension cuts introduced in recent years will begin to be reversed as economic conditions improve He conceded that there has to be an orderly wind down as opposed to a sudden ending implying that such reverses will take time and negotiation While there was no indication that the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement would end earlier than 2016 there is an expectation that negotiations on its successor agreement will begin in 2015 Minister Howlin s comments while well received in some quarters were less well received in others Some suggested that this was no more than a vote buying strategy designed to give a boost to Labour s current polling numbers Such commentary misses the context against which the pay cuts were implemented Ireland quite simply was about to fall off an economic cliff And nobody seemed to know the true depth of the chasm Austerity measures were introduced measures that hurt every citizen regardless of whether they were public or private sector working or unemployed Nobody wants to take a pay cut Nobody wants to have their working conditions disfavourably changed Nobody wants to work longer hours And yet as a nation we held our noses and accepted the deals that were

    Original URL path: http://www.pseu.ie/xxxx/a-world-after-haddington-road-some-thoughts-on-minister-howlins-comments.309.html (2015-10-30)
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  • Blog: Sick Leave: Public versus private Sector
    Members Standing Orders Committee Revenue Group Rules Contact Us Home The Public Service Executive Union represents Executive Grades in the Civil Service the wider Public Sector Search Blog Sick Leave Public versus Private Sector By scarabini Friday 8th August 2014 0 comments Sick Leave Public versus Private Sector Seán Carabini Sick leave rates in the Public Sector are twice that of the Private Sector So ran a series of headlines articles and radio interviews across the country yesterday But as usual context is everything By way of example in the past I worked in a series of low paid Private Sector jobs where being sick simply meant that I was removed from the roster for that day and did not earn an income Was sick leave recorded No it was not It led to situations where quite simply I came to work when I shouldn t when I was sick because I couldn t afford not to Thus I risked spreading my Flu and cold germs to every customer and every co worker that I encountered The statistics against which Public Sector workers were compared do not seem to take this into consideration and are therefore unreliable Being employed in a workplace with properly defined sick leave regulations means that employees have time to recover and ensure that they are at work only when they should be that the Flu virus stays at home in bed rather than taking a crowded bus to a public place Given that the schemes are not the same to compare public and private sectors is not a true comparison Why not undertake a time comparison for example The cost of public sector sick leave in Ireland in 2012 latest figures was 430m In 2009 it was 551 2m In other words during a time

    Original URL path: http://www.pseu.ie/xxxx/blog-sick-leave-public-versus-private-sector.306.html (2015-10-30)
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