Wednesday, 19 October 2011

"Hey!" say teachers, "leave those pensions alone!"

A couple of weeks back I turned on the radio to hear a teachers’ union representative gnashing her teeth at government plans to reform public service pensions, including linking pension payments to average -  rather than finishing - salary, along with the linking of post-retirement pensions to inflation, rather than pay.

It sounded like a good deal to me, considering the protection enjoyed by public-sector teachers due to FF's Croke Park Agreement.   Perhaps others in the private sector who have been paying into contributory pensions for years, the eventual value of which remain doubtful, thought so too. 

The teachers’ representative, of course, called the proposed reforms “larcenous”.  She cited claims from some teachers who said they "would end up paying more into their (defined-benefit) pensions than they got out”.   Laughable... and no wonder mathematics is a subject we do not excel at, with half-wits like these out in front of our classrooms.

The interviewer than asked if they would prefer to swap their pension arrangements for those in the private sector. Predictably, the “ we don’t want a race to the bottom” argument came out. Sure they don’t.  Interestingly though, they weren’t campaigning to raise the standards enjoyed  by those on “the bottom”.

They want those very bottom feeders in insecure jobs and ill-defined benefit pensions – where they have any at all – to continue to subsidise their unsustainable ones. Pensions enjoyed, not uncoincidentally, by retired TDs, gardai, judges and top civil servants.

The thing is, there have to be enough such private sector bottom feeders working to pour money into the black hole of such pensions (not to mention all the various other unworthy bail-outs for banks, investors and developers).

Maybe they should consider the plight of those turning up at Aviva today to see if they have jobs at all, and use their educated minds to make some kind of connection with the reality that exists outside their staffrooms.

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Anonymous said...


Tell us GM, did you ever think of writing for the Daily Mail? You'd fit right in, and I mean RIGHT in - de ya get it ;)

The Gombeen Man said...

As if to illustrate a point, our educated friend from Southampton University pipes in with his dial-a-cliche response.

Anonymous said...

But GM, not so long ago you were enlightening us at to the fundamental beliefs of a true leftist.

Doesn't well funded public services come in there somewhere or are you so far to the left that you have come around the back and are now on the right of this debate?

The Gombeen Man said...

I never said I am a leftist. The middle-class "left" in Ireland is part of the problem, as far as I am concerned.

john said...

the private pension scheme is closer to putting you money with Paddy Power, it is all based on shares and it is not hard to work out how that has gone. The public pension scheme reflects part of the two tier society we live in, the haves and have nots.In Germany , public servants are on low salaries as they have guaranteed employment but the decent pension they get is seen as the payoff for service to the state.

The Gombeen Man said...

Too true, John. I'm sure those poor buggers in Aviva out on their arses would gladly take the teachers' "larcenous" cuts. It's another world.

john said...

On the subject of Avia,GM,I heard on the radio that the planned 960 job Cuts will save them 70 million and expected profits for the Avia group expected at 2.17 Billion. So we are heading back to medieval europe the poor serf and the wealthy lords!!

The Gombeen Man said...

It's a disgrace, John. There was a time when companies made people redundant when they were making a loss. Now it's if profits aren't as great as they expected, "going forward".

Dakota said...

GM, like the new format, very snazzy.
Sure don't you know GM we have the most enlightened educational system in the world, ney the universe, maybe even the cosmos and all parallel universes. It's got nothing to do with the apartheid.

As you mention Aviva, I just happened upon this.

The Gombeen Man said...

New format necessary due to commenting difficulties, Dakota. Glad it's working anyway.

Rewarding himself for putting nearly a thousand workers on the dole from a profitable company. What a scumbag.

I assume that is a Mercedes SLS AMG(they cost half the price quoted in the UK by the way... but that's academic).

Would you believe I saw one in Tescos Maynooth? Irish reg and all?

Thanks for the link. Speaks volumes.