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Thursday 14 December 2017

IMF insisting on standard leave for local authorities

THE IMF will order the Government to cut benefits and public service pay unless reforms promised in the Croke Park agreement are delivered by the end of the year.

The Department of the Environment faces a race against time to standardise annual leave across all local authorities by next December.

If delivered, this should lead to increased productivity and create cost savings, which would appease the EU/IMF.

Negotiations are under way between public sector unions and the Local Government Management Services Board, which is representing local authorities.

It has refused to release data on leave entitlements in each local authority, but it is arguing that the maximum number of holidays allowed to any staff member should be capped at 32 days a year.

If the reform fails, it could scupper another key reform in the agreement -- redeployment.

Management wants to give each grade a set amount of holidays to avoid disputes if it asks them to transfer to other jobs that could have different entitlements.

The extent of the time off given to senior grades is revealed just weeks after the failure to cut privilege days in the civil service.

Last month, an arbitration board rejected proposals from the Department of Finance to abolish up to two privilege days for civil servants.

The department had argued that to remove the days would have saved €4.6m a year.

The Civil Service Arbitration Board found that management "had not demonstrated significant savings consistent with the transformation that is required", and that changes would have created "a sense of grievance disproportionate to any gains which might accrue".

Irish Independent

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