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Sick leave has jumped since the 1980's in the Irish civil service. On average, 59% of all Irish public staff availed of sick leave in 2007. The average employee was absent, on average, for just over 11 days and sick leave has doubled since the 1980's.
Four Year Budget Plan: The Government on Wednesday took the first steps in
the long march to fiscal solvency in 2014 but the IMF (International Monetary
Fund) will have to push through real reform in the conservative system with its
entrenched vested interests.
Raising taxes and cutting welfare payments are the easy parts with the
external overseers to pass the buck to. However, the people responsible for
implementing glacial change in the public service are the same individuals who
went with the comfortable flow in the good years while politicians have a poor
record in facing down the mainly wealth interests in the protected private
From the early 1950s, when the Catholic Church opposed 'socialised' medicine
and found common cause with devotees of the God Mammon in the medical
professions, the protected professions have comfortably handled the
schizophrenic existence of being both socialists and capitalists.
Big firms depend on the public sector for dependable cash flow and
promises some actions but likely ineffective:
Competition in the professions will
be promoted and overseen by an independent figure, reporting regularly to
The Government will identify further
ways to tackle increases in insurance costs, building on achievements of the
Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
All the restrictions on
appropriately trained General Practitioners who wish to hold GMS contracts
will be abolished.
Provide for a more structured
approach to mediation in the legal system and promote further the use of
Alternative Dispute Resolution taking into account recommendations of the
Law Reform Commission in its Final Report 2010 on the subject.
A package of measures to reduce
legal costs will be implemented, including
increased use of tendering by the State;
prioritising publication and enactment of
the Legal Costs Bill; and
additional proposals for legislation to
reduce legal costs, drawing on the recommendations of the Legal Costs Working
Group and the Competition Authority.
Provide for increased use of arbitration and mediation.
We at Finfacts have long advocated an end to Victorian secrecy on public
contracts by having full transparency over a minimum value. It would seem a
better route than appointing an 'independent figure.'
There is the overweight,
unaccountable governance system overdue for reform and for example 88 planning
authorities in a small country.
The so-called Bord Snip group report has many examples of egregious waste and
abuse of public funds; lawyers 10 years to retirement age getting a full public
pension entitlement on becoming judges; academics having the 'legitimate
expectation' of getting additional pension years added as if they are cost-free
and so on.
Then there is the culture of the 'bank hour' to cash a pay cheque even though
payments are made electronically; 'privilege days' for travel time dating from
ancient times to facilitate civil servants at Christmas and Easter and at bank
holidays; a work week of 33 hours; high absenteeism; the FT reported that public
employees are given paid time off to attend local race meetings and arts
festivals. In County Leitrim, public sector workers used to get paid time off to
attend a local regatta on the River Shannon. Even when the regatta was
discontinued, the free-day tradition persisted. When Leitrim’s public servants
were finally forced to forsake their day off for the discontinued regatta, trade
unions secured compensation for the workers affected.
Ireland setting out its four-year austerity plan to save €15bn, with Brian Lenihan, Ireland's Finance Minister, and CNBC's Guy Johnson:
report by the Comptroller and Auditor General published in October 2009 said
sick leave has jumped since the 1980's in the Irish civil service with the
absence rate rising from 3.3% to almost 5% of available working time, which was
lost to sickness absence in 2007. On average, 59% of all staff employed availed
of sick leave in that year. The average employee was absent, on average, for
just over 11 days.
Members of the Garda Síochána retire at the age of 50 with full pension rights
and they are entitled to choose the three base years i.e. where their overtime
earnings were highest, to determine their final award.
Hundreds of State agencies known as quangos, are protected from redundancy
despite having better pay and pension conditions than those in the decimated
Public employees like Brian Cowen, Bertie Ahern, Mary Harney and senior civil
servants will continue to live comfortable lives despite the misery their
actions or non-actions have brought to tens of thousands of their victims.
The only hope is that the IMF will help to create a fairer Irish society
and set the base for a sustainable economy.