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IMPACT asks civil service to 'look beyond' Croke Park deal

IMPACT’s general secretary tells a conference that a more sophisticated approach to redeployment is needed.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive

THE GENERAL SECRETARY of the public service trade union IMPACT has told management of the civil service that they should look beyond the scope of the redeployment provisions made in the Croke Park pay deal.

Speaking to a divisional conference for civil service members in Tralee today, Eamonn Donnelly said the civil service required a more sophisticated approach in areas where specialist staff were up for redeployment.

Under the Croke Park deal, staff redeployment must initially be done on the basis of volunteerism, with a ‘last in, first out’ policy then pursued if not enough people will volunteer for redundancy.

In specialist cases, Donnelly said, this approach would have an impact on services – challenging members to ensure that “people with the necessary skills end up in the right posts”.

“The staff protections are there for all grades and must be respected. But redeployment is a challenge that has to be managed, particularly for the specialist grades,” he said.

Donelly called on civil service managers to develop a system of ‘resource panels’ to identify where staff surpluses might exist and then identify the training that those staff might need in order to be appropriately deployed elsewhere.

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We need action now to ensure that the redeployment that inevitably follows is fair to staff while getting the best out of them to protect and develop services. It’s no good waiting until the gaps appear before we act,” Donnelly told delegates.

The government’s targets for public service pay and staffing were met in the first quarter of 2011, with total public service employment down by 2,000 between January and March.

16,400 public jobs have been cut since 2008, saving the State €900m in pay. The State has also saved €1.4bn reducing the pay bill for other public service workers, Donnelly said.

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Gavan Reilly

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