Significant changes set out in revised Croke Park II accord

Full text of proposals due out later this week

Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, turns away from his press briefing on the LRC negotiations on Croke Park at Government Buildings ,yesterday.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, turns away from his press briefing on the LRC negotiations on Croke Park at Government Buildings ,yesterday.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Wed, May 22, 2013, 09:06

While the full text of the revised Croke Park II agreement will not be available until later this week, the document will contain a significant number of changes compared with the proposals rejected by union members last month.

Some of the largest reworking of the agreement has been in the health service where nursing staff will now retain their double-time payment for Sunday work. However, they will have to move from a 37½ to 39-hour week.

The potential for generating savings by transferring work carried out by doctors to nurses will be further examined with the funds being prioritised to maintain the current time and one-sixth twilight payment for nurses working in the evening.

All existing flexible working arrangements for nursing and midwifery grades will be maintained, while a senior staff nurse increment will be restored from July 1st, 2013, for all eligible, since 2009. Nursing unions said it will be paid to new recipients on November 5th every year.


Rules on working hours
For doctors the Government has given a commitment that it will comply with European rules on working hours by the end of 2014.

Overtime payments for doctors will continue to operate at double time on Sundays and public holidays and time-and-a-half for those earning under €35,000 per year and time-and-a-quarter for those earning above €35,000.

Under the revised proposals, new entrant consultants, who earn 30 per cent less than those senior doctors appointed before last autumn, will be exempted from the new salary reduction aimed at those receiving above €65,000 per year.

Teachers who will lose about €1,700 in supervision and substitution payments will, under the revised agreement, receive a gross additional payment of €650 in school year 2016/2017.

A further gross additional payment of €650 will be included in the incremental scale in the school year 2017/2018.

A group is also to be established to consider and report on the fixed-term and part-time employment in teaching.

Teaching unions said as a first task, the group will report on reducing the qualification period for the granting of a contract of indefinite duration from four years to three to take effect for 2014/2015.


Changes for teachers
“Arrangements will be made in relation to those entering their fourth year in September 2013 with a view to the early application to them of this provision.”

Siptu said there would be a reduction in the proposed increase in working hours for administration and library staff in universities from five hours to two hours 15 minutes .

Separately, the union said that the provision in the original proposals, that those working 39 hours per week and doing overtime would have to work the first hour for free, would cease on March 31st, 2014.

The Civil Public and Services Union said several clauses in the original proposals giving local management the right to limit or change flexiworking have now been removed.

It said protections in the first Croke Park deal on redeployment, specifically limiting the distance staff can be moved to 45km from their home, would be maintained in this deal. It also said the text of the revised proposals would provide for a commitment that a review aimed at restoring the pay cuts introduced before the first deal “as a priority for the first €35,000 of earnings” would be carried out by July 2016.

Main points Amended Croke Park II proposals

Nurses

l Double time on Sundays/public holidays is maintained.

l Nurses and midwives will have a 39-hour week (anyone can maintain their existing working week subject to appropriate pay adjustment).

l Priority to be given to maintaining time and one-sixth twilight payment from savings accruing from transferred work carried out by doctors to nurses.

l Improved salary levels for those appointed to nurse graduate scheme.

Doctors

l Government to move to comply with European directive on working hours for doctors by end of next year.

l Overtime payments will continue to operate at double time on Sundays andpublic holidays and time and a half for those earning under €35,000 per annum and time-and-a-quarter for those earning above €35,000.

l New consultants who are paid 30 per cent less than those appointed before last autumn to be exempt from new reductions in salary for those earning more than €65,000 in public service.

Teachers

l Payments under the supervision and substitution scheme (about €1,700) to be ended from the start of the 2013/2014 school year.

l Teachers to receive a gross additional payment of €650 in the school year 2016/2017.

l A further gross additional payment of €650 to be paid in the school year 2017/2018.

l A group to be established to consider and report on the level of fixed-term and part-time employment in teaching. As a first task it will report on reducing the qualification period for the granting of a contract for indefinite duration from four years to three to take effect for the 2014/2015 year.

Education staff

l There will be a reduction in the proposed increase in working hours for administration and library staff in universities from five hours to two hours and 15 minutes.

Lower-paid civil servants

l Protections in the first Croke Park agreement on redeployment have been restored in the new text, specifically the limit of 45km on the distance that staff can be asked to move from their home.

The above information is based on details released by trade unions