Monday 20 January 2020

Civil servants instruct union to seek restoration to pre-Haddington Road hours

Tom Geraghty. Picture:
Tom Geraghty. Picture:

Caroline Crawford

Delegates at the PSEU conference have instructed the union to seek a restoration to pre- Haddington Road hours.

Gordon Grace of the Revenue Group asked delegates to consider “working half an hour every day for rest of your working life for free”.

“This is not fiction, this is what is happening in 2016,” he added.

He called for a survey to be carried out to have empirical evidence on how these extra hours are impacting workers in daily life.

Delegates said the time worked up to an extra 17 days per year.

“No matter what way we spin this, 17 days a year with no pay or reduced rate of pay, this is a pay cut,” said one delegate.

She stressed that work life balance no longer existed for many staff who were struggling to make up the additional time.

“There is no balance. We need to act now it is too long to wait until 2018 for our next restoration,” she said.

Brian Hannify of the Foreign Affairs branch queried how much energy bills had risen across the civil service as a result of the extra hours.

However, delegate Noel Carey issued a word of caution to the survey. He told how he personally had happily accepted the additional work to prevent further pay cuts.

“When we conceded we’d work a half hour a day, my God was that a relief for me at the time, the mortgage leather was firmly around my throat at the time and I couldn’t breath,” he said.

“I’ve lots of time to work I’ve nothing else to do I can do this,” he added.

He urged caution in how the survey would be phrased, adding; “I know from long experience the person who puts together a survey will be the result that they want.”

Delegates voted down a motion seeking the Executive Committee to disclose their remuneration package and pension entitlements of full time officials.

Opposing the motion, a delegate from the Revenue branch said the information was available to delegates if they simply called the officials involved.

“We have nothing to hide, we’re not the IFA, or FAI or IMPACT yet,” he said.

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