SIPTU members have reacted with anger, disappointment and hurt at the comments made by Fianna Fáil TD, Marc MacSharry who has accused public servants of laziness during the Covid-19 crisis.
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. SIPTU members in the public service are not only on the frontline of our hospitals and emergency services but have kept essential community services going throughout the crisis, are playing a pivotal role in contact tracing and testing, are volunteering to deliver essential goods to our most vulnerable and are processing record numbers of social protection payments.
“The reality is that these essential public services are provided by hard working and diligent workers including SIPTU members in the deputy’s own constituency in the Institute of Technology Sligo, in Sligo and Leitrim county councils, in Sligo University Hospital and the HSE National Recruitment Service in Leitrim and other employments.”
He added: “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.”