Parties respond to Fórsa election questions

The main political parties contesting Saturday’s general election have responded to a series of policy questions put to them by Fórsa. Covering a wide range of issues from public service pay policy to support for our school secretaries campaign and working time issues, including the four-day week, you can view a summary of the various party positions HERE.

Fórsa’s head of communications, Bernard Harbor, gives his analysis on where the parties stand on pay and other issues ahead of Saturday’s #GE2020 vote.

He writes: “A spat over public service pay broke out between the two main parties in the middle of the election campaign when Fine Gael pledged average annual pay increases of 2.5% in the four years following 2020, while accusing Fianna Fáil of planning a pay freeze.

“Later the same day, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took the highly unusual step of writing to Fórsa general secretary Kevin Callinan to ask him to spread the word among our members.

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour and the Social Democrats commit to negotiate a new pay deal in their manifestos and, when prompted by Fórsa, the others said they would too. All were fairly short on details.

“In truth, no party is going to set out a detailed position in advance of negotiations. We wouldn’t either. But, in an effort to inform members, Fórsa put pay and working time at the top of the list of questions it put to all the political parties in the first full week of the election campaign. You can view the parties positions on all those issues HERE.

“Fianna Fáil said it would establish a new Public Service Pay Commission, which would “prepare the basis for” a new agreement that would also incorporate new entrants’ pay. Fine Gael stressed its preference for a “sustainable deal,” which would “introduce a bargaining clause…to make progress on sectoral issues.”

Read Bernard’s full analysis on our blog page.