Saturday 17 August 2019

Permanent-pensionable status can't be ignored

The public sector is still largely a job for life. Stock Image
The public sector is still largely a job for life. Stock Image


A permanent and pensionable job is quite the valuable commodity in the modern-day workplace.

Most entrants into the jobs market have to reconcile themselves to the idea that they will have to not merely change jobs, but change entire career paths at some point.

Within the public service, however, there is still a strong level of permanence. A high level of incompetence or indiscipline would, of course, result in dismissal after a drawn-out process. But no redundancies can be undertaken based on economic circumstances.

The public sector is still largely a job for life.

A report yesterday ascribed a value to the premium of having a public-sector pension. The new report on Garda pay and industrial relations, commissioned under the Haddington Road Agreement, was carried out by former Labour Court chairman John Horgan.

Mr Horgan found the remuneration of gardaí is composed of three elements: basic pay, allowances and overtime, and pensions. He described the Garda pension entitlements as a substantial and significant benefit, which he calculates would require an extra €40,000 a year to fund. Mr Horgan admits this is a "rough and ready" calculation, and recommends that a more detailed analysis be carried out by the Public Service Pay Commission.

That body is due to report in the new year and its findings will feed into the next round of public-sector pay talks, with unions seeking restoration of downturn cuts.

Nobody is begrudging public-sector workers their terms and conditions. But they do have to be taken into account when determining pay and making comparisons with the private sector.

Creative Ireland on show in Golden Globes nominees

Only last week Taoiseach Enda Kenny launched the Creative Ireland plan for the next five years.

Among the measures it contained was an aspiration to make Ireland a global centre of creative production in film production, TV drama, documentary and children's storytelling and animation.

The film newspaper 'Variety' recently said of Irish film that "the industry is now achieving critical mass of filmmaking talent to match the kind of influence, disproportionate to its small size, that it has always enjoyed in the fields of literature and theatre".

The announcement of the nominations for the Golden Globe awards yesterday confirmed the breadth of talent emerging from this island.

The shortlist was described as "a shot in the arm" for Irish film by director John Carney. A raft of Irish actors and filmmakers will walk the red carpet at the prestigious ceremony.

Carney's 1980s coming of age film 'Sing Street' is nominated for best comedy and musical film and Ruth Negga is up for the Best Actress in a Motion Picture category for her performance in Jeff Nichols's 'Loving'.

Colin Farrell is in for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for 'The Lobster'. Caitriona Balfe is to contend for the best actress in a TV drama for 'Outlander'.Matching the talent with the infrastructure is the aim of Creative Ireland, so the raw ingredients are in place.

Irish Independent

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