Kenny wants productivity to rise


Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the country will only be able to afford the quality of public services people aspire to if productivity is increased.

Addressing the Impact biennial delegate conference in Killarney today, Mr Kenny said there were many examples of the Croke Park agreement delivering in terms of new work practices, changed roster arrangement and greater flexibilities.

However, he called for greater urgency in delivering on the potential of the deal.

“I believe it is in the interest of all of us - the Government, taxpayers, trade unions and public service employees - to accelerate the process of change in the public service,” he said.

The Croke Park agreement guarantees no further pay cuts or the introduction of compulsory redundancies in return for co-operation with public sector reform.

Mr Kenny also said it was important that a "social dialogue" existed between the Government, unions and other groups to generate fresh thinking and new ideas.

He told the conference the Government, its officials and public servants did not have all the answers.

The Taoiseach’s comments came as the Impact general secretary Shay Cody called for the establishment of a new forum where employers, unions and the Government could address workplace issues such as future pay rounds.

Mr Cody acknowledged there was no appetite in Government for a return to the days of institutionalised social partnership.

He said consideration should be given to the establishment of a forum like the employer-labour conference that predated social partnership.