Below is the text of a recent article in the Sunday Business Post on comments from AHCPS General Secretary, Dave Thomas, on the likelihood of a new redundancy packaage for the public sector.
New redundancy package for the public sector
16 September 2012 by Nicola Cooke
Public sector workers are likely to be offered a new redundancy package of five weeks' pay per year of service in the coming months. The move is part of a bid to reduce the overall numbers employed by the state by at least 5,000 next year.
Terms similar to those that were offered to Health Service Executive staff in 2010 are likely to be offered again, including a payment capped at the value of two years' salary.
However, this scheme will be targeted at public sector workers with 20 to 30 years' service, and in areas where there has been redeployment, the merger of agencies and over-staffing.
Dave Thomas, general-secretary of the Association of Higher Public and Civil Servants, said that unions had already agreed terms for any new redundancy package to be offered.
"It is my understanding that a voluntary reduction scheme will be introduced that will help to bring down [public sector] numbers further. We have agreed the terms of it conditionally," Thomas said.
"When it will be introduced is a political decision, but it is likely to be made available by the end of this year for take-up next year."
Thomas said that the package was unlikely to be offered to all public servants, particularly those working in areas where there had already been a significant reduction in staff numbers.
"It will be more difficult to reduce public sector numbers as time goes on, and this is a way of addressing this. It also has another attractive element for the troika, as it means fewer people will be building up pension entitlements," he said.
Another source close to the process also said it was likely that a redundancy deal would be offered in the coming months, and that it "may well be activated" in the context of budget cuts and extra savings to be made by the government.
"The Vocational Education Committees, which have been halved from 32 to 16, and around 50 other state agencies that will be merged, are examples of areas where there is still plenty of scope for redundancies," the source said.
Under the Croke Park Agreement public sector numbers have been reduced from 320,000 to just over 290,000 and the wage bill has dropped by €3 billion from €17.5 billion to €14.5 billion between 2009 and 2012.