Croke Park deal ‘delivering results’

THE body overseeing the implementation of the Croke Park agreement on public service pay and reform has delivered an upbeat update on the progress of the deal, forecasting that 75% of the required staff reductions will be complete by the end of the year.

As part of the roll out of a new website the Croke Park Implementation body has compiled data on the savings which have been realised to date through public service staff reductions, pay cuts and redeployments.

Under the National Recovery Plan there are to be almost 25,000 fewer public servants by the end of 2014, compared to the peak at the end of 2008.

According to the implementation body report, by the end of 2011 it is expected that 75% of that reduction will have been achieved and:

* Civil Service numbers will be 36,200 (2002 levels).

* HSE numbers will be 105,300 (2006 levels).

* Education numbers will be 93,300 (2010 levels).

* Garda numbers will be 13,500 (2007 levels).

* Defence numbers will be 10,500 (lowest levels to date).

* Local Authority numbers will be 30,750 (2001 levels).

“Public service numbers are also falling fast — by 12,000 (whole time equivalents) over the 18 months to the autumn 2010, with a further 2,000 people leaving the HSE by year end under the voluntary exit schemes,” the body said. “The fall in management grades has been particularly pronounced, with a 10% reduction in management grades in the civil service alone since 2008.”

It added that most vacancies, caused by natural turnover of public servants who retire or leave, are not being filled because of a general moratorium on recruitment and promotion implemented in 2009.

“In addition, a number of incentivised departure schemes have been applied to accelerate the fall in numbers,” it said.

In the pay sphere it said €1.8bn was saved from the pay bill in 2010. Individual public servants have seen an average reduction in take-home pay of 14%, with much higher reductions for the higher paid, including 24.5% for those at the secretary general level 2 grade.

“Despite these very significant reductions services have been maintained and in some cases expanded — particularly important at this time for the most vulnerable in society, including those who have lost their jobs and are dependent on the state at this time,” it said. “Productivity has increased across the public service because we are getting more work for less money and fewer people.”


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