Call for ‘quick wins’ in public service reform

THE man charged with overseeing the implementation of the Croke Park deal has told the parties to the deal he wants to see “quick wins” in the transformation of the public service.

Earlier this month PJ Fitzpatrick was appointed chairman of the Implementation Body which will make sure the terms of the Croke Park deal on public service pay and reform are implemented and which will assess the value of the savings generated in each sector of the public service.

Mr Fitzpatrick has now written to the general secretaries of the public service trade unions whose members will be affected by the deal’s terms.

He tells them full engagement with the “drive for change” will be necessary if the potential of the Croke Park terms are to be delivered in line with the “very challenging timeframe for the pay review” in Spring 2011.

“I am sure you will agree that it is important to deliver ‘quick wins’ that will improve services to the public and deliver verifiable savings and that management begin to implement the changes identified under the agreement swiftly,” he said.

“Experience of transformational change is that it is delivered more quickly and smoothly when the staff involved, and their representatives, are engaged in the process at the earliest possible stage.”

Trade union leaders welcomed the fact that Mr Fitzpatrick addressed fears that some managers will seek to force through changes in spite of the protections agreed in the deal.

They pointed out that he said staff should be informed “at a very early stage” of the likely impact of any proposed changes, and staff and their unions should have the opportunity to “contribute to the development of proposals”.

IMPACT’s incoming deputy general secretary, Kevin Callinan, welcomed the letter.

“Mr Fitzpatrick clearly appears to understand the requirement in the agreement that staff be involved and protected. This is an important message to staff and to any managers who believed they now had a totally free hand.”


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