Public service workers deserve to be valued

The serious rioting and looting in Dublin in Dublin on Thursday, 23rd November following the serious attack on small children and their carer on Parnell Square exposed a significant failure of government and garda management to respond to the threat of violence provoked by the far-right over the past two years.

Liberty (@SIPTU)
2 min readDec 4, 2023
At SIPTU’s Biennial Delegate Conference in Galway, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King laid out the union’s key priorities for any future talks based on a consultation of SIPTU members. Picture: Brian Harding

It also confirmed the vital contribution made by frontline workers in the public service across our society, including by gardai and SIPTU members in transport, health and local authority services, some of whom were attacked and abused during the night of turbulence in the capital city.

The decimation by successive governments of community and youth services in the most deprived areas of our cities and towns over recent decades has also generated levels of disaffection among people which the far-right has sought to use to its advantage.

The efforts of those who provide public services in our communities should be valued, with decent jobs and remuneration.

In the current talks for a new Public Service Agreement, our members in the public service want their incomes to be protected from the ravages of inflation and from the outsourcing of their jobs.

They want a Public Service Agreement that is not vested in the past or rooted in the language of continued austerity.

It must offer hope and a vision of public services that is about investment, development, career progression and a fair reward for their contribution to making our society a better, safer place.