Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry
“I want to draw an analogy between the Minister’s Department and other Departments and employees of the State for whom, frankly, Covid-19 has been great cover for doing nothing.
I had dealings with one State agency lately, where no one will be back in that office until the end of August. They are working from home and it is necessary to talk to an answering machine.
Most people have been allowed to return to work, particularly in the private sector. The staff in my office did not stop for an hour since the onset of Covid-19.
We respected the lockdown, but worked from our office and dealt with people on phones etc..
Many elements of our State agencies, Departments and local authorities, however, are using this situation as cover to lie on the couch and watch box sets, returning an odd call here and there and doing the maximum of the minimum to tick over during this period.
Productivity has fallen and that is unacceptable. Many in the private sector are back again at full tilt. I know the Minister has worked at full tilt throughout this time, I know I have, as have many colleagues, probably all, in the political world. Many people are not, however, and that needs to be addressed.
Whether it is opportunism, coming from the labour relations side, laziness and-or poor management, it needs to be addressed because the country needs all its officials working at full tilt to get productivity levels up to the maximum so we get through this crisis in the best possible way.”
Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry speaking in the Dáil on the Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020 on Tuesday.
Deputy General Secretary for the Public Sector John King
SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for the Public Service, John King, said:
“Earlier this week, SIPTU representatives took the view that Deputy MacSharry’s theatrical attempt to grab cheap media headlines was not worthy of a response.
However, given the volume of emails, phone calls and messages from members over the last 24 hours since the deputy repeated his outrageous comments we believe we must give public expression to the level of anger, disappointment and hurt felt by public service workers working across the country.
Deputy MacSharry’s comments clearly demonstrate a fundamental lack of appreciation and understanding of the efforts made by hundreds of thousands of public servants who have worked around the clock to stop the spread of the coronavirus from day one of the outbreak.
….Our members are demanding Deputy MacSharry listens to the advice of his parliamentary colleagues in Fianna Fáil and other parties, withdraws his comments, apologises and puts an end to this kind of misleading rhetoric that only serves to divide public and private sector workers at a time when the economic recovery of the country requires unity and solidarity.”