Cabinet to approve 'accelerated' redundancy
The Government will today approve an “accelerated” voluntary redundancy programme aimed at reducing public sector numbers by an extra 4,000 employees by the end of 2014.
Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin will bring a memorandum to today’s Cabinet meeting outlining the full details and costs of the plan, which is in addition to staff reduction policies already in place.
The new plan will not be as general as previous redundancy plans but will be targeted at sectors where there will be a “surplus” of employees, principally the health, agriculture and education sectors. The plan envisages 2,000 new redundancies in 2013 and a further 2,000 in 2014.
That will mean that, combined with existing arrangements, the numbers employed in the public service will fall by almost 10,000 over the next two years, from the present number of 292,000 to 282,500.
The terms of the scheme are the same as those offered to HSE employees who took voluntary retirement in 2010 – namely two weeks per year of service and a further three weeks per year as an incentive. The maximum is either two years’ pay or half pay to retirement.
The staff paper written by European Commission officials after the troika’s last quarterly assessment of Ireland’s performance was critical of the scheme, which it considered to be costly.
While the Government argued that the scheme would pay for itself in three years, the commission argued that the use of deployment and training under the Croke Park agreement would have been more efficient.
The draft report from commission officials also said it was unclear if the scheme would be compatible with service delivery.
In background briefing, the department said Mr Howlin was pressing public service management to look at business processes to identify areas where staff or services could be reconfigured so as to free up staff numbers.