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 The time has come to restore the pay and conditions of our low paid workers in the civil and public services. Their sacrifices need to be recognised and their losses made good.

The recession is now being turned back, and the Government as an employer of low paid workers must now fulfil its commitments to restore what was taken in pay cuts, pay freezes, longer hours, lost increments and tax increases.

The incomes of lower paid civil and public servants were slashed under the austerity measures. It’s fair and equitable to restore their incomes first.

The Government promised that when the economy did improve, the lower paid would be the first to benefit.

The best way to do that is a flat rate increase in pay which gives full benefits to lower paid workers.

The low paid have carried a significant burden of sacrifice during the waves of austerity this country has experienced since 2007, through no fault of their own.

It is clear from street demonstrations and protests, as well as opinion polls,  that there is considerable public anger and unrest, and fear for the future. The gap between the rich and the poor is growing, and this will lead to growing fragmentation and disenchantment unless the political system responds quickly.

This is the time for leadership and for the political system to acknowledge and respond to this disenchantment, to stem the tide of civil and public disconnection.

Our members deserve the recognition of their sacrifices, through the restoration of their pay and conditions.

The demoralised lower paid must be prioritised in this pay restoration.  It can lead to the return of morale amongst workers in the public and civil service, and help reconnect citizens with the State that they belong to.

It’s time for restoration.