Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants


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(18 Feb 2013)

Cir 11/2013
Croke Park Extension Talks – Update  18 February 2013

As members are aware from media reports and from the Association circulars No 4/2013 and 7/2013 the Government are planning measures to reduce the public service pay and pension bill by an additional €1 billion between 2013 and 2015.

Talks over the last two weeks were between the officers of the Public Services Committee of ICTU (Shay Cody, Tom Geraghty, Sheila Nunan and Patricia King) and DPER Officials. Those discussions were focused on drilling down on the costs of the various proposals and the options around them, to establish the value of each proposal in relation to their impact on the overall €1billion.

The first meeting of the Public Services Committee since 1st February took place on Friday last 15th February. The details from the meeting on 1st February were circulated via branch secretaries in circular 7/2013. The main issues from last Fridays meeting are as follows:

• There will be a headcount element in the reduction, and that headcount reduction plus a reduction in pay for higher paid could be in the region of €350million.
• What constitutes higher paid, will be a political decision taken by Government.
• There will be a contribution from higher paid pensioners. However numbers in this category will be small as 80% of Public Service pensioners are on €30k or less.
• Stand alone sectors (Prisons/Defence) will have specific talks with specific outcomes.
• The extra hours, management are seeking an additional 5 hours per week, may be narrowed, but there are different working hours in different sectors of the Public Service. It is managements’ intent to standardise the hours across all sectors.
• Additional working hours will reduce overtime, agency work and contractors and will contribute to cost savings.
• Supervision/substitution in schools will be progressed through an Education Forum
• Premium payments (Saturday/Sunday/Twilight) across the public service, seeking savings of €170m. That figure can be adjusted if there is a reduction in the volume of attendances. This will be examined at sector level.
• The unions have placed the cut off point for the payment of the pension levy and the two tier work force on the agenda. They also want equity across the various sectors.
• Management want a negotiated settlement but they have stated that Government will impose a reduction in pay by an act of the Oireachtas if agreement is not possible.
• The various sectors commenced negotiations over the week-end. Members will be kept briefed if there is something to report.

Dave Thomas
General Secretary

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Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants