Public sector workers challenged to do more

Public sector workers can still improve their performance, while further reforms are needed among services, a top civil servant has said.

Department of Public Expenditure secretary general Robert Watt made his comments ahead of a fresh round of pay talks beginning next week between the Government and trade unions.

His comments came as an MRBI survey yesterday showed three in four people dealing with civil service offices are satisfied.

The department head said there would be a “speedy conclusion” to the pay talks. Unions though want a reversal of pension cuts and working hour changes made during recession and will resist any further reforms demanded by the Government side.

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However, further productivity among public services would be sought, explained Mr Watt. “We have to do more, we have to improve services and that’s an ongoing process.

“Croke Park and Haddington Road had a number of specific measures which were delivered and then there were a number of enablers, which enabled better performance.

“We think there’s more to go, there’s more we can do and we’ll be looking to continue the progress we’ve made over the last number of years and into the future.”

The survey of people’s experience of civil servants concluded that, despite pressures from the recession, levels of dissatisfaction among users remains relatively low. Mr Watt said the results were “reasonable” considering the changes and cuts 37,000 civil servants had experienced.

Social Protection and Revenue remain the most contacted departments since the last survey, six years ago.

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