The deal: What it means for public sector workers
Chenelle Mullally of the Waterford County Fire Service at the Emergency Services Association protest outside Leinster House yesterday. photograph: Eric Luke
The proposals from the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) give details on how the proposed arrangements would apply to different groups of workers.
In the local authority sector, the minimum working week will increase to 37 hours net per week. The normal attendance pattern will be 9am – 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 9am – 5pm on Friday. Flexibility in hours may be required, with a six-week consultation period proposed before any revised arrangements are put in place. It is envisaged that the extra hours will also be used to reduce current expenditure on overtime in the sector.
Nurses will experience a longer working day with longer shifts “where necessary/ appropriate” along with a revision of rosters and “focused” working of additional hours at peak periods or to provide additional cover. Changes to consultants’ work practices will be similar, with “attendance on additional days” also required.
Health and Social Care Professionals (HSCP) will have scheduled weekend attendance where merited by service needs, for example in dietetics, speech and language therapy and psychology services. They will also work an extended day with potential for rosters to cover 8 am - 8pm.
Clerical, administration and support staff will be expected to work longer days.
Overtime rates of pay will continue to apply, in accordance wit0h agreed overtime regulations, for attendance in excess of the new 37 net hours minimum requirement “where such attendance is not encompassed as part of an agreed flexible pattern, such as accumulated hours”.
For academic staff at universities and other colleges, the payment for examinations will be discontinued. They will work an additional 78 hours per annum, with 16 of the 78 hours ringfenced for time involved in the marking of examinations. The balance of 62 hours will be deployed through what are described as “Workload Allocation Models” to maximise savings and productivity.
For academic staff at institutes of technology, the additional 78 hours will be applied towards “examination marking, evening weighting, church holidays and weekly lecturing time offsets”.
For teachers, the existing requirement to provide 37 hours per annum will be increased to 49 hours per annum. The time assigned to substitution and supervision will be increased from 1½ hours in any given week to 2¼ hours. “In this context, the additional time may only be used for substitution,” the document states.
A review of senior management attendance at weekends will be undertaken and the potential for one committal prison in Dublin will be explored and developed.
All “acting-up” allowances will be removed, with all vacancies arising to be filled through use of existing resources, including relief panels in line with an internal competition procedure.
Efficiencies across the justice sector will be pursued, including video-links for court appearances; the introduction of electronic warrants; the closure of prison main gates after certain times and issues around the escorting of prisoners.
A reduction in expenditure on agency and locum healthcare staff is also sought, along with the “introduction of an automatic key and radio disbursement facility”.