Friday 24 November 2017

Refunds ruled out in review of pay cuts

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

PUBLIC servants have little chance of getting pay cuts reversed under a national wage review that promised refunds this year. The Implementation Body overseeing the Croke Park deal has begun the first annual wage assessment under the agreement.

The wage reviews were seen as a major coup for unions when the deal was brokered in March last year.

It held out the possibility of refunds being made to their members -- whose wages were slashed by roughly 14pc in emergency budgets -- if "sufficient savings" were made through reforms.

Highly-placed sources revealed the Implementation Body is expected to verify over €500m savings this year, but there is practically no chance of it being distributed among State employees. "There is no chance of refunds," said a source. "The country is bankrupt, and this pay refund measure has essentially been given away to the IMF, because over €1bn in payroll savings have been promised by 2014."

Persuaded

The fact that public servants are aware that considerable savings have been made will pose a problem for unions. They will be pressured by their members to fight for refunds because unions persuaded them to back the deal on the promise of a restoration of pay.

But only public servants who have left since the Croke Park deal was agreed will be counted as a saving.

Sources said the reduction in numbers will bring in roughly €400m, while another €100m would come from reforms under the Croke Park deal.

Irish Independent

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