ESB to cut pay of 695 staff up to 17%

The 695 workers at ESB’s Powergen section are to have their pay cut by up to 17%.

With €5.3m in savings required from payroll at the power generation unit, the ESB’s internal joint industrial committee decided that tiered paycuts should be introduced.

The cuts will start at 11% for those at the lower end of the payscale and will rise to 17% for those at the top.

The paycuts are part of an overall €140m costsaving programme at ESB.

Under that programme, it was agreed by management and unions that €56.4m was to come from cuts to non-core pay elements such as profit share, overtime, and performance payments.

However, the largest portion of the overall savings — €83m — was to come from a voluntary redundancy programme.

That involved the departures of 1,000 people of the total 6,000 employed by ESB.

While the other sections of the company reached their redundancy targets, in Powergen, only 160 people applied to take the severance package.

In order to fulfil its share of the savings there needed to be 250.

There is an interlocking mechanism in ESB which means that if one of the sections fails to contribute its required targets in one way, it must make up for the deficit in another way.

The value of that shortfall had initially been valued by management as €7.9m but following third-party assessment, that was revised down to €5.3m.

To make up the shortfall, the joint industrial committee has now decided that the paycuts should be introduced in power generation.

The 695 affected staff work in a number of power generation plants including Aghada, Ardnacrusha, Moneypoint, the Lee stations, and Poolbeg.


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