Anger as retirees rehired by Fas getting pay cheque and pension
AS a measure to sidestep the public service recruitment embargo, State training agency Fas has been rehiring retired civil servants to fill staff shortages.
Since January 2010, Fas has rehired 52 individuals who had previously retired from the training body.
Fianna Fail TD Eamon O Cuiv, the former Social Protection Minister who had responsibility for Fas, strongly criticised the practice. He said there was a danger of people receiving a pension from Fas and a pay cheque.
"It seems a very large number of people are rehired in Fas and what this means is that people end up getting a pension and a salary," he said.
"As a general practice, unless there is some overriding reason of public good, this is unacceptable.
"Often you'll find that the people who get rehired the most are the top dogs; they very rarely rehire clerical officers."
A spokesperson for Fas disputed Mr O Cuiv's claim that rehired staff were receiving double payments.
The spokesperson admitted that the staff hired were in receipt of pension payments but said the combined cost of pension and temporary salary did not exceed salary at the time of retirement.
They added: "On different occasions over the period from January 2010 to April 2011, 52 retired staff members were engaged by Fas to provide ad hoc periods of short-term cover for absences.
"This equates to an annual equivalent of six full-time staff. The majority of the staff in question were rehired on a temporary basis at instructor grade and a small number at general assistant grade. The average length of temporary employment was approximately six weeks.
"The amount of their pension payment was reduced for the period of temporary employment to ensure that the total payment received (pension and payment for temporary employment) did not exceed the level of their salary on retirement."