CPSU seeks clarity on privilege days for senior staff

 

A UNION leader representing lower-paid public servants has called on the Government to clarify if senior civil servants are to forgo their privilege days.

The move by the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU), which represents clerical grade Civil Service workers, follows a decision on Monday by an arbitration board to reject proposals by the Department of Finance to abolish privilege days for personnel in the Civil Service.

As a result of the ruling, all Civil Service staff will have to be given two additional annual leave days to compensate them for the abolition of the two privilege days which they had formerly enjoyed at Christmas and Easter.

In a letter to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, CPSU general secretary Blair Horan said his union members had agreed to forgo leave known as “bank time”, valued at three days annually, on the understanding that higher grades in the Civil Service would not retain their two privilege days.

Mr Horan said front-line clerical civil servants “would like to know if their senior managers have agreed to formally forgo their two privilege days”.

Yesterday, CPSU deputy general secretary Eoin Ronayne said while its members retained the two privilege days “we agreed not to contest the loss of our bank days on the understanding that higher grades wouldn’t keep their two privilege days”.

In addition to its letter to the Minister, the CPSU has also written to its members saying it is calling for all savings made from their forgoing of bank time to be ringfenced for CPSU grade workers in any restoration of pay under the Croke Park deal.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance has said that “the question of senior managers forgoing privilege days did not arise, as the proposition was for privilege days to be withdrawn for all grades”.

The statement said: “the reality is that many senior managers through the Civil Service are not able to take their annual leave allocation due to work pressures”.