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Local authority bosses agree to cut annual leave

LOCAL authority bosses have "volunteered" to immediately surrender up to two weeks of annual leave after a series of revelations about their generous holiday entitlements.

County and city managers last night agreed to take no more than 32 days' leave every year.

It comes after the Irish Independent revealed this week that some were entitled to take more than two months' holidays.

Overall, senior staff at four county councils enjoyed holidays of 40 days or more -- in Roscommon, Longford, Kerry and Cavan.

This is up to three weeks more than private-sector workers -- where the statutory minimum is 20 days -- and more than a week more than senior civil servants.

And it is on top of the usual nine public holidays and Good Friday enjoyed by most workers.

Last night the County and City Managers Association (CCMA) issued a statement, saying local authority bosses had agreed to take no more than 32 days "on a voluntary basis".

The move comes months ahead of plans to standardise annual leave across all grades of local authority staff by a deadline in December this year.

These plans -- which apply to all grades -- have been rejected by unions and referred to the Implementation Body overseeing the Croke Park deal, which deals with reform of the public service.


Public Sector Reform Minister Brendan Howlin has vowed to standardise leave in the local authorities and across the public sector in the wake of the controversy.

Council managers have decided to surrender part of their generous leave entitlements in the wake of this week's revelations.

They all agreed to take no more than 32 days, regardless of the fact that other grades are still in negotiations about standardising the working week.

Their statement last night said: "The CCMA is to change historic annual leave arrangements.

"Managers have agreed that a maximum of 32 days of annual leave will be implemented on a voluntary basis with immediate effect while this issue continues to be progressed under the Croke Park agreement. The standardisation of annual leave across the sector was referred by the trade union side to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) where, unfortunately, agreement could not be reached.

"The LRC has now referred the matter to the National Implementation Body for clarification and the CCMA looks forward to an early determination."

The Local Government Management Services Board has proposed a new leave entitlement scale, based on grades, and aims to reach agreement by Christmas.

Irish Independent