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Government pledges: No more pay cuts in public sector

There will also be no compulsory redundancies thanks to “progress” under the Croke Park agreement.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin at the Croke Park deal progress review last month
Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin at the Croke Park deal progress review last month
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE GOVERNMENT HAS vowed that there will be no further wage cuts for public servants, and no enforced redundancies.

The pledge comes a year after the Croke Park deal with public sector unions and is made “in light of progress” in cost-cutting made under the agreement, which sought to find a framework for economies within the public sector.

A joint statement issued by the Government and the and the Public Service Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions explains: “The Government can reaffirm its commitments under the Agreement that there will be no further reductions in pay rates for serving public servants and on the non-application of compulsory redundancy.” However, the wording appears to leave the door open to reduce wages of new hires in the public sector.

There is also a warning that any commitments will depend on the targets set out in the deal continuing to be met. “These commitments are conditional on the ongoing delivery of the flexibilities set out under the Agreement, in particular those relating to cooperation with reduction in numbers, redeployment, cost containment and changes to work practices,” the statement said. In addition, the recruitment and promotion freeze will “continue to apply”.

Trade union Impact welcomed the statement, saying it confirms that public sector workers are delivering the savings required of them. However, the union warned there would still be significant reorganisation and redeployments within the sector. “This alone further emphasises the value of the Croke Park agreement because it will be the vital mechanism to enable those kinds of changes,” it said.

Read more: Croke Park deal has saved almost €600m in first year >

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Michael Freeman

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