Friday 31 October 2014

Thousands more public servants targeted for redundancy

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

Published 03/10/2012 | 05:00

A spokeswoman for Mr Howlin said work on identifying the surplus staff was continuing.

THOUSANDS of public sector workers will be offered a voluntary redundancy package in an attempt to cut 10,000 more jobs from the state payroll.

The package will be worth five weeks' pay per year of service and will be introduced across the public service.

But the Government said it would be a "targeted" redundancy scheme so there would be no automatic right for individual teachers, gardai or nurses to take the package.

Only surplus staff who are no longer needed will be allowed to leave.

There are 292,000 workers in the public service, but the Government wants to bring this down by a further 10,000 by 2014.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has said that this target cannot be reached by retirements alone -- which is why the voluntary redundancy scheme is being introduced.

But there are no details available about when the scheme will start, how much it would cost, how many people would leave and whether a deadline will be imposed for applications.

A spokeswoman for Mr Howlin said work on identifying the surplus staff was continuing.

It was also not known if the scheme would apply to workers in commerical semi-states such as the ESB and An Post.

The voluntary redundancy package of two weeks statutory redundancy plus three extra weeks per year of service is identical to what was offered to HSE workers in 2010. That scheme led to the departure of around 2,000 health staff at a cost of €100m. But it led to a saving of €60m in the payroll bill last year.

In a separate initiative, around 7,900 older workers left the public service ahead of their planned retirement date earlier this year to avoid bigger cuts to their pensions.

It emerged yesterday that the Government is continuing its campaign to "squeeze" more savings out of the public service under the Croke Park agreement, which has 18 months left to run.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mr Howlin have now received responses from all government ministers suggesting further savings.

Allowances

The Government is under pressure to deliver savings after missing its target to reduce public sector allowances by €75m this year.

It decided to abolish just one of the 1,100 allowances.

A government spokeswoman said it expected managers to be proactive and ambitious in pursuit of change under the Croke Park agreement.

And he said they wanted public sector unions to approach reform "constructively and co-operatively".

Mr Kenny and Mr Howlin have met Health Minister James Reilly, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Environment Minister Phil Hogan for detailed discussions on savings.

And they are due to meet the group in charge of implementing the Croke Park deal shortly.

Irish Independent

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