Invidious comparison of wage rates

COMPARISONS of public and private sector wage rates are invidious.

They do not match like with like. Skilled workers in the public sector outnumber those in the industrial sector.

Workers in industry always earned less than workers in the public sector.

From 2000 to 2008, the rate of increase in industrial wages kept pace with the rate of increase in public sector salaries.

Comparing wages for 2008 with 2000, the annualised compound rates of increase were almost identical at 5.5% in industry and 5.6% in the public service.

Every day, the subliminal message is drummed into us that wages must be cut to keep costs down.

What that really means is more profits in the pockets of captains of industry. Part of their strategy is to drive a wedge between different groups of workers.

An Bord Snip Nua would do well not to invoke dubious comparisons to justify slashing the state’s payroll.

When times are good, few people take a civil service job as their first option, but when the going gets tough, everybody bashes the soft target.

You can’t have it both ways. Things balance out in the long run.

Figures don’t lie, but can the spinners figure?

Michael Mernagh



Co Cork

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