Wednesday 13 December 2017

How the Croke Park deal is working out

WHAT'S DONE

• Savings of €891m were made in the second year of the Croke Park deal. On top of last year's savings, this mean €1.49bn was cut from payroll costs.

The savings include a €650m cut in payroll costs, following the exit of 11,530 staff in the 12 months from April last year to March. The rest of the savings, €379m, were achieved through administrative reforms.

However, the payroll saving will drop to €521m a year if the Government hires up to 3,000 staff it may need to fill gaps in services.

The Government will have to fund an increase in the pension bill of €285m this year, bringing it from €2.7bn to €3bn.

• An independent report by Grant Thornton verifying savings found the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine had underestimated savings, including the closure of 42 local offices, by over €15m.

• Among the achievements are the rollout of new garda rosters since the end of April, and the redeployment of of 4,500 staff to new roles during the last 12 months.

Staff in universities and institutes of technology began working extra hours in the last academic year.

AND STILL TO BE ACHIEVED . . .

• A plan to extend the working week for more than half the local authorities' staff under the Croke Park deal has already missed two deadlines. This means over 15,000 staff are working 35 hours or less a week. Unions are opposing the reform.

• A plan to review public servants' allowances and premium pay was promised by February but has still not been announced.

• An overhaul of the sick leave system is being opposed by unions, and talks are under way at the Labour Relations Commission.

Irish Independent

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