Are they having a laugh?

Letter in today’s Irish Independent.

I NEED to express my concerns at the proposed pension levy for public service workers. I am a member of An Garda Siochana.

This morning, Sunday, February 8 2009, I read a report that Bank of Ireland Staff were to receive a 3.5pc pay increase.

Are they having a laugh?

Are the banks not getting a state bailout of €8bn from the state pension fund? And now they want us to pay an extra 6pc into this state pension fund to make up for money guaranteed to the banks, while the banks give their staff pay increases?

Again, I ask, are they having a laugh?

ESB, too, are to give their staff a pay increase. The Government owns ESB’s shares, yet they do not face a pension levy. And ESB rates have gone up. So recently I have faced more costs through larger ESB bills and now I am going to have less income.

Are they having a laugh?

Both ESB and bank staff get to return home every evening and weekend while we sacrifice our sleep patterns, relationships and quality of life. Accepted, we receive allowances for working nights, Saturdays, Sundays and weekends, but does this compensate us for facing abuse from certain elements of the public?

Operational gardai are putting their family life, personal safety and mental health on the line every day facing verbal abuse, being assaulted and injured, being threatened, stabbed, sometimes even shot at or killed.
Unsocial hours allowances don’t compensate for this.

All of this to protect the security of the State. And it wants to return the favour by hitting us with a 6pc pension levy, or pay cut, or whatever you like to call it. Mutton dressed up as lamb is still mutton.

Again, are they having a laugh?

After my mortgage and car payments I will be left with a pittance. I face selling my car in order to have some income left every week. There is not an adequate public transport service to facilitate our working hours and I certainly will not be able to afford taxis.

I, for one, am not laughing.

I would like to also sympathise with the thousands losing their jobs every week whose pain and distress must be on a totally different level.

name and address supplied