Date Released: 30 October 2014
SIPTU has welcomed the Government’s decision to delete a section of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Act 2009 which gave public service employers the ability to cut workers’ core pay and adjust working hours without agreement.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The cabinet decision yesterday (Wednesday, 29th October) to accept the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin’s request to delete this key clause in the FEMPI legislation is welcomed by SIPTU members.
“SIPTU has always opposed the FEMPI legislation which provided unacceptable powers to government ministers to unilaterally vary workers’ terms and conditions of employment. The decision to begin the unwinding of this punitive legislation will provide confidence to our members that the Government is serious about pay recovery negotiations which are expected to begin early next year".
He added: “At the recent SIPTU Health Division Biennial Conference, Minister Howlin made clear to members his commitment to ensuring that low and middle income health workers begin to experience a dividend from the economic recovery and the reform process. The beginning of the repealing of FEMPI is an important first step in ensuring this process is successful in returning to workers the earnings that they have lost in recent years”.
The change agreed by Government involves the deletion of Section 2B of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Act 2009, which was introduced as a limited contingency measure to the legislation in 2013.