Freeze on cuts after Croke Park accord

 

THERE ARE to be no further pay cuts for existing public servants and no further compulsory redundancies in any Government department or agency.

In a joint statement yesterday, the Government, the public service committee (representing public service management) and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions disclosed that the progress made in the first full year of the public service (Croke Park) agreement was such that pay rates or forced redundancies for existing public servants will not now have to be addressed.

“These commitments are conditional on the ongoing delivery of the flexibilities set out under the Croke Park agreement, in particular those relating to co-operation with reduction in numbers, redeployment, cost containment and changes to work practices to improve productivity and maintain public services,” said the statement.

One of the major conditions for later this year in the memorandum of understanding with the EU and the International Monetary Fund would have obliged the Government to push through a reduction in the overall public service wage bill if the efficiencies and job reductions projected by Croke Park had not been met.

The statement also said the moratorium on recruitment and promotion would continue. “Large-scale recruitment to the public service will not feature.

“It is envisaged that after a period of operation the moratorium would be adapted to a procedure of setting overall targets and pay averages.”

When the comprehensive review of expenditure spearheaded by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin is completed in the autumn, the Government is committed to further consideration of optimum levels of public servants in each sector.

A steering committee from Mr Howlin’s department is reviewing submissions from each department on expenditure cuts and will produce a final draft by the end of this week.

In early September, senior officials from each department will be required to make a full presentation of their plans to the Government’s economic management council, as part of the preparations for next year’s budget.

Though Mr Howlin has not been willing to reveal the extent of the savings he hopes to achieve in the review, it is expected to run into hundreds of millions of euro.