Teagasc forced to go the voluntary route
Teagasc has admitted that it will not meet its staff reduction targets set out under the Croke Park agreement without the introduction of a voluntary early redundancy scheme.
The agricultural research and advisory body is understood to have sought Department of Finance approval for a proposed redundancy package which would cost €3.3m.
The Teagasc staffing plan requires a reduction of 117 in the number employed by the agency by 2014. This will take overall employee levels to 1,056.
However, a spokesman for Teagasc admitted that getting staff reductions in the current economic climate was proving difficult.
"We will not hit the 1,056 target without some sort of voluntary redundancy package," he said.
The €3.3m would fund early redundancy packages for up to 50 staff members, the spokesman added. The deals would be based on the package offered to HSE staff.
Funding the scheme is now the issue. Given the current spending restrictions, it is unlikely to be paid for exclusively by the exchequer.