Tuesday 12 December 2017

Croke Park deal chief negotiator plays down impact of €1bn in payroll cuts

Nicola Anderson

By Nicola Anderson

THE chief government negotiator on the Croke Park deal has played down the impact of the €1bn payroll cuts on staff.

Assistant Secretary of Public Service Reform and Delivery at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Paul Reid, disagreed with some of the facts being put out about the impact on typical workers.

Speaking at an Industrial Relations News conference in UCD, he pointed out that 72pc of nurses do not work overtime so the deal would mean a pay cut before tax of three per cent.

The impact on a typical primary teacher was 3.5pc gross or 1.9pc net pay cut while a typical garda would be impacted with a 3.2pc gross pay cut or 1.9pc after tax, he claimed.

However speaking afterwards, head of the Garda Representative Association PJ Stone dismissed his claims.

"I dispute these examples absolutely," he said.

He said the reality was that the average garda earning €40,000, who was obliged to work Sundays, would lose €2,500 gross pay.

Mr Stone said he did not accept the deal was proportionate or fair.

He said gardai were "never a part" of the Croke Park talks.

The garda representative said when they first went to Lansdowne House for the start of the talks they were "moved into the left hand side and the only people who were in that room were members of the garda siochana."

He said bodies representing superintendants remained throughout the process and nobody spoke to them, he claimed.

However, both men amicably shook hands with when they came face to face at the conference this morning.

Meanwhile, Mr Reid claimed the proposed Croke Park deal generates "certainty and predictability" for public servants for the next three years.

He admitted some of the changes were difficult from some workers but insisted that protecting the basic core pay of low to middle grade workers was always fundamental.

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