Proposed public service agreement – the view from the top. March 30, 2010Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
This was passed on by a friend of the Lounge…
30th March 2010
To: Branch Secretaries
Cc: CEC, DECs, Staff
Proposed public service agreement
Intensive negotiations took place between the public service unions and employers over the weekend, brokered by senior Labour Relations Commission staff. The talks concluded at 3.00am this morning with agreement on a proposed public service agreement. I have called a meeting of the CEC for 8th April to decide whether and how the proposals should be put to ballot of members.
Under the proposals, the Government has given IMPACT and other unions a commitment that there will be no further public service pay cuts if extensive reforms in work practices and conditions of employment are implemented throughout the public service. The proposals also provide a mechanism for the reversal of existing pay cuts over time if reforms deliver verified savings.
The proposals would see a review of the savings that accrue from agreed public service reforms in spring 2011. If sufficient savings have arisen, the restoration of pay cuts will begin. Initial priority will be given to public servants with pay rates of €35,000 or less, according to the proposals.
Further reviews will take place in 2012, 2013, and 2014, with more money becoming available to restore pay rates if verified savings have been achieved. The reviews will be undertaken by a performance verification group with an independent chair and equal numbers of union and employer representatives.
If accepted, the deal would also deliver pension protections and a guarantee of no compulsory public service redundancies. Under the proposed agreement, the period for which 2009 pay rates would be used to calculate pension entitlements would be extended from the end of 2010 to the end of 2011. It was agreed that a review in early 2011 would consider a future extension beyond this date.
The Government’s has confirmed its intention to continue the moratorium on recruitment. But a new agreement on redeployment of staff – within and between public service organisations – would generate savings and help protect services as staff numbers fall. The agreement would see staff redeployment within organisations as the first choice and includes protections for staff, including limits on the distances over which they could be redeployed. Voluntary redundancy schemes could also be used in some circumstances.
Savings would also be generated – and services protected and improved – through detailed work practice reforms in each sector. The pay, pension and job security elements of the deal would be depended on full staff cooperation with these changes, which are set out in separate ‘transformation’ documents for health, local government, education, and the civil service and non-commercial state agencies. These will be published on the IMPACT website as soon as they are available in electronic format.
The proposals restate the Government’s plans to restore the public finances and reduce the deficit to less than 3% of GDP by 2014.
The proposals also include an ‘industrial peace’ clause and an agreed mechanism to quickly resolve disagreements about the agreement.
The overarching agreement is being posted on the website this morning. The detailed proposals for transformation in health, local government, education and the civil service and non-commercial state agencies will be published on the IMPACT website as soon as they are available electronically.
I will contact you again after next week’s CEC meeting.