19/01/2009

Teachers Union Calls IBEC Attack 'Scandalous"

The Teachers Union of Ireland is calling on all public-sector employers to reject their membership of the Irish Business And Employers Confederation following what it calls, "scandalous" remarks.

The TUI says the employers' body has lost all credibility following its "ill-conceived statements" about the public service.

TUI General Secretary Peter MacMenamin said: "IBEC's attack on public service pensions is outrageous and nonsensical and only acts as a distraction from the real debate.

"It is unacceptable and scandalous that at this time of huge economic turmoil public sector be singled out for harsh punishment in the manner suggested by IBEC."

Last week, IBEC put forward a series of radical proposals for public sector reform, including the ending of defined-benefit pension arrangements for all new staff.

In the statement IBEC Director Brendan McGinty called for a major reduction in public spending and said it was a time "for difficult decisions.

Mr McGinty said: "The average public sector pension is worth a premium of 13.5% of salary more than the average private sector pension. Necessary reform must involve capping public sector pension liabilities and introducing fundamental reforms of public sector pensions."

Mr McMenamin says IBEC's negativity towards public servants has reached unacceptable levels and is totally out of line with what public-service employers are saying to their staff.

It says its members will not be scape-goated for the problems in the Irish economy.

(DW/BMcC)

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