Monday 19 February 2018

A bloated and pampered public sector is bleeding the nation dry

Public sector workers, with their 'privilege days' are throwbacks to a bygone era, writes Eamon Delaney

Anyone who with any great hopes of an improvement in our public sector under the much vaunted Croke Park Agreement would have been sorely disappointed by an extraordinary exchange during the week between Tom Geraghty of the Public Service Executive Union and Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio's News at One.

The exchange was about the union's resistance to giving up their days of privilege, those special days off for civil servants, in addition to annual leave, which actually date back to the days of the Empire. One was for the King's Birthday and another is for Empire Day. Who needs a sovereign independent republic when you can cling to the outmoded trappings of the old regime?

The Department of Finance had fought and failed to have the days abolished, or at least amalgamated with the existing annual leave. But the civil servants resisted and their resistance goes to the heart of why the public sector will simply not be reformed under the fearful 'slowly, slowly' approach of the previous, and present, Government.

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