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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010 - 7:16:30 AM

Former public servant calls for 30,000 voluntary redundancies in the Irish public sector
By Finfacts Team
Sep 23, 2010 - 10:59:45 AM

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Croke Park, Dublin.

A former public servant who is now a banker has called for 30,000 voluntary redundancies in the public sector, which, he said, would save €2bn a year

Willie Slattery, who worked in the Central Bank for 22 years and now heads the Irish branch of US bank State Street International, which has 2,500 employed at Dublin's offshore centre, the IFSC, told a conference that any savings from the Croke Park Agreement  should go to address the Exchequer deficit, instead of reversing pay cuts.

"The commitments given in the CPA are not capable of being met,"he said earlier this month. "In addition, under the CPA, the €20bn annual payroll bill for public servants can't be slashed until 2014, when our current deficit also stands at €20bn. And spending on the banking sector has also increased significantly since the agreement".

Willie Slattery was a member of the public spending review group commonly known as Bord Snip, which was under the chairmanship of UCD economist Colm McCarthy. 

The Croke Park Agreement guarantees there will be no compulsory redundancies or further pay cuts over the next four years in exchange for extensive reform of the public service.

It provides for the reimbursement of pay cuts to public servants from the savings made from those reforms.

Minister of State for Public Service Transformation Dara Calleary said the implementation body charged with overseeing the reforms had met four times since it was set up in June, while every department must submit its proposed changes by next week.

The Minister said no pay cuts would be reimbursed until savings had been made from reforms.

Calleary said that the redeployment of staff across the public service is vital to ensuring the improved delivery of services. He said it is true to say that there are areas in the public service which need improved staff resourcing while at the same time there are areas where the needs are less pressing. It is important to address these imbalances and redeployment will go some way to doing this.

He said there is a need to break down the unnecessary distinctions between different types of public servants, through legislation if necessary, and through the use of much more flexible redeployment. The initiation of the senior public service will promote a shared approach across the leadership of the public service to the pursuit of Government priorities.

General Secretary of the IMPACT trade union Shay Cody said it was imperative that management put forward substantial and meaningful proposals on the implementation of the deal.

Cody said morale among public servants had taken a battering and added that the great danger was inertia setting-in, with pressure then mounting on public service workers about their pay rates in the future.

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