Croke Park Agreement continues to deliver substantial savings” – Howlin
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin T.D., today welcomed the publication by the Implementation Body for the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 (‘Croke Park Agreement’) of its Second Annual Progress Report.
The Minister stated “I welcome the findings of the Implementation Body that almost €900 million of sustainable pay and non-pay savings have been successfully delivered in the second year of the Croke Park Agreement. This means the Agreement has achieved almost €1.5 billion in pay and on pay savings in its first two years. We should not lose sight of the fact that the Croke Park Agreement has enabled these savings to be delivered in a climate of industrial peace across the public service.
The Body’s Report provides strong evidence that, under the Agreement, the public service is consistently “doing more with less”, as management, unions and staff work together to implement the fundamental changes that are necessary to keep the public service functioning with far fewer staff and resources. Taking just two examples:
- Under the Agreement’s redeployment provisions, thousands of staff are being moved within and across sectors to where they are needed most. Over 1,150 teachers primary and secondary teachers were redeployed in the last year, 4,500 staff were moved in the health sector and more than 1,000 Community Welfare Service staff and 750 Fás staff were redeployed into the Department of Social Protection.
- New roster arrangements have been put in place for Gardaí and health sector workers which will help us to maximise the resources available to the frontline.
This Report confirms that the Croke Park Agreement is making an important contribution to our economic recovery. That said, we cannot lose sight of the fact that we continue to face very significant challenges. We still have a way to travel in terms of restoring order to the public finances. We are also operating in a very difficult and uncertain economic environment.
The Body has rightly concluded that the Agreement will continue to be measured against its ability to accelerate the pace of change across the public service and its potential for extracting further pay bill and non-pay savings. I would strongly agree with that sentiment and I am calling on management, staff and their representatives to press ahead with even greater urgency with the delivery of further change under the framework of the Agreement”.
Finally, the Minister thanked the Chair of the Implementation Body, Mr. P.J. Fitzpatrick, and the members, for their work to date and indicated that he is looking forward to seeing further substantial progress in the next reporting period.
13th June 2012
Notes to Editor
The Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 provides for an annual review focusing on the sustainable savings generated from the implementation of the Agreement and of the agreements in each sector of the public service. This is the second such Review and was undertaken by the Implementation Body which is charged with driving the delivery of the commitments under the Agreement. The review covers the 12-month period to the end of March 2012.
The Implementation Body was established in July 2010 and Mr. P.J. Fitzpatrick was appointed as non-executive chairman. Membership of the Body comprises of representatives of public service management and the Public Service Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. The Secretariat is located in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
Key Findings of the Report
Staff number reductions
Public service staff numbers have been reduced by 28,000, or 8.8%, since 2008 from 320,000 to 292,000
Staff numbers have been reduced by over 17,300 during the first two years of the Agreement and by 11,530 during the review period (Apr 2011 to Mar 2012)
Pay and non-pay savings
The Exchequer pay bill has been reduced by 17.7% between 2009 and 2012, from €17.5bn (Gross) to €14.4bn (net of the Pension Related Deduction)
Pay Bill Savings of €650m were achieved during the year under review (Q1 2011 to Q1 2012) driven largely by the reduction in staff numbers
Factoring in an estimate for the maximum possible post-February recruitment over 2012 still yields significant sustainable pay bill savings of €521m. An estimated €810m in sustainable pay bill savings has therefore been achieved during the first two years of the Agreement.
Over the period 2009 to 2015, the Exchequer pay bill is expected to reduce by €3.8bn, or €3.3bn net of expected increases in public service pensions costs
Administrative efficiency (or ‘non-pay’) savings totalling €370m were reported for the review period. Adding the examples of non-pay savings presented in last year’s Report totalling €308m, gives a total of €678m in non-pay savings in the first two years of the Agreement.
Savings in respect of 4 sample projects were verified by Grant Thornton