By Industrial Relations Officer

PDFORRA is lobbying Oireachtas members, including Minister Willie O’Dea, to the emphasise that its members have already made their contribution to the resolution of the economic crisis. They have paid their fair share.

Gerry Rooney, General Secretary of PDFORRA said today, “PDFORRA members receive relatively modest incomes and they have already been deducted a pension levy, an income levy and a health levy.  The pension levy of 7·5% on our members and on all public servants is in reality a pay cut”.

PDFORRA’s submission to Oireachtas members based its case for no further cuts on members pay, on a number of key facts:

–        Members are already paying a 7½ % pension levy

–        Members pay an increased income and health levy

–        Massive reform has been undertaken by the Defence Forces

–        The Defence Force spend is the smallest in Europe as a % of GDP

–        The Defence Forces is clearly significantly reduced on numbers serving  due to the public service moratorium on recruitment

–        There is no evidence that PDFORRA members are paid more than their private sector counterparts

 It is widely accepted that members of the Defence Forces receive relatively modest incomes when we consider the vital work they do, both at home and overseas.  A member of the Defence Forces on €31,500 per annum is be already on pay cuts €2,345 while a member on €40,953 is on pay cuts of €3,602.

 Rooney went on to say, “The Defence Forces has already been an easy target when it comes to cutbacks.  In the 50’s and 60’s – our Defence Force was virtually wiped out by persistent lack of funding and this included poor pay levels.  We now have a Defence Force of which all of us feel proud – so it is imperative that it is not run down again. It’s also important that serving members are not placed in the situation of requiring further state subsidies to support families – as has happened in the past”.

PDFORRA is firmly of the view that NO case exists for further cuts to the pay of its members and that Government should give a commitment that cuts will not take place.  There are many other ways of approaching this issue, other than further penalising people who had no hand act or part in creating the current crisis.

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