Speaking at the commencement of the POA annual delegate conference in Sligo today, Stephen Delaney, President POA said, “It is only right and to be expected that Minister Shatter and the Government now honour previous commitments made, to restore the pay for hard pressed workers, which includes Prison Officers; subject to the continued recovery. We read about this most welcome and continuing recovery on a daily basis and I want to assure our members here today that the Prison Officers Association will pursue all avenues necessary and open to us to restore our pay entitlements, which have been denied to us in recent years. The crisis is over we are told; so let’s have our pay scales back”.
Delaney went on to say, “This country, by all accounts, is well on the road to recovery. There is confirmation that over a €1billion savings will be achieved on the payroll, over the lifetime of present agreements. The ESRI is forecasting growth to be in excess of 3 percent over the next two years. Over 40% of private sector firms have negotiated pay increases. Various Ministers have suggested possible tax cuts in the very near future. Let’s hope that our Minister, in the middle of all this positivity, will ensure that Prison Offices and their families are not forgotten”
Delaney also said, “We prison officers have paid our dues and we have made a very significant contribution to the national recovery – post our economic crisis. We have taken huge pay cuts of nearly 15 percent and this has placed a very heavy burden on us as individuals and more especially on our families. We must all take credit for exiting the bailout, but this credit must now be realised in real financial terms, not just in deserved praise. This praise is welcome but it does very little in terms of addressing mortgage arrears, water charges, and such like”