Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Be realistic about wage hike proposal

Published:Wednesday | January 28, 2015 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It would seem that some of our public-sector workers are now expecting a wage increase that is commensurate with the years they have been holding strain.

I heard one trade union announcing that it plans to ask for to 40 per cent wage increase over three years, including a 15 per cent increase in the first year. I would caution these workers not to bank on that, though.

I know that these trade unions that are asking for such a high wage increase are sticking to a well-known negotiating tactic - ask for high amount first in the hope that a compromise will not leave their interest at too great a disadvantage. However, these trade unions must realise by now that that plan won't go very far this time.

With an economy that is stagnant and the restrictions that the Government has agreed with its creditors, it is unlikely that our public-sector workers will get any double-digit wage increase. I think that many of them realise this. Those who don't need to wake up.

Though it may appear that the State can find millions to pay a few lawyers, the truth of the matter is that we just cannot afford to pay our public-sector workers what they deserve.

These trade unions need to stop giving our public-sector workers false hope. Many of these workers have now begun to cling to the expectation of getting something that is impossible - a double-digit wage increase.

MICHAEL A. DINGWALL

michael_a_dingwall@hotmail.com