Ex-courts service chief to monitor public service deal

THE former chief executive of the Irish Courts Service PJ Fitzpatrick is to chair the implementation body which will oversee the Croke Park deal on public service pay and reform.

The body is being established to make sure the terms of the deal are implemented and to assess the value of the savings generated in each sector of the public service.

It will be down to the implementation body to decide in the spring of 2011 whether enough savings have been generated to justify the restoration of pay-scales cut in last December’s budget, for public service workers earning less than €35,000.

According to the agreement, the body will make regular progress reports on implementation of the transformation agenda across the public service to the Taoiseach and the Cabinet committee on transforming public services. Mr Fitzpatrick has held a number of influential positions in the public service including the role of chief executive of the former Eastern Regional Health Board, the largest health authority in Ireland at that time. He is currently a board member of the Health Service Executive and was appointed interim Financial Services Ombudsman last January.

As well as its chair, the implementation body will be made up of representatives from the public service management and the public services committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).

The ICTU committee has nominated four officials to the body, Shay Cody of IMPACT, Tom Geraghty of the Public Service Executive Union, Patricia King of SIPTU and Sheila Nunan of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation. The nominees from the public service management side will be Ciaran Connolly and Brendan Duffy from the public service management division of the Department of Finance and Philip Kelly of the Department of the Taoiseach.

Meanwhile, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland said yesterday that the decision of its executive on Thursday to talk to the Department of Education is not a reversal of its opposition to the Croke Park deal and that it will not be entering negotiations on specifics of reform proposals in the agreement. TUI general secretary Peter MacMenamin said they will meet officials to clarify the department’s position and allow the union to fully inform members before asking them to decide whether or not to engage on the proposals.


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