Monday 27 February 2017

Relocated public servants to get overtime pay-off

Anne-Marie Walsh

PUBLIC servants will get a one-off compensation payment if they relocate to a new job under the Croke Park deal.

But senior union leaders predict major clashes if the redeployment programme -- which is central to the Government's ambitious reform plan -- is forced on their members.

State employees whose earnings are largely made up of overtime and allowances are in particular danger of a drastic loss in income when they move to a new job.

There is no reference to compensation in the Croke Park deal but the Department of Finance confirmed that a formula has been worked out to calculate pay-offs for those who suffer a loss in earnings.

The one-off payment will be worth one-and-a-half times the annual value of a worker's loss of earnings.

The deal says redeployment should preferably take place on a voluntary basis, but the Government can impose it if it does not get the staffing levels it needs.

The programme is being rolled out mainly to fill vacancies left as a result of the embargo on recruitment across the public sector.

Last night, the general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Liam Doran, said the compensation issue will cause major difficulties in implementing the deal. He said his union, which voted against the Croke Park deal, will seek compensation for any loss of earnings that may be suffered including any drop in income due to changes in rosters.

"I've no doubt that this is going to be a most problematic area," he said. "Those redeployed will not only lose earnings, they have to wait a year for compensation.

"The issue of how much of the redeployment plan will be compulsory is a hurdle we will have to meet sooner rather than later.

"No one should underestimate the problems as this deal is rolled out. It there is a sledgehammer approach by management, it will lead to problems in the future."

Irish Independent

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