The Irish Times – Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The schemes will be primarily aimed at staff in managerial/administrative and clerical grades in the HSE, voluntary hospitals and in voluntary health service agencies funded by the HSE. They will also be offered to support staff, such as catering, portering, cleaning and maintenance personnel. Approval for applications from these grades will depend on the number of management and administrative staff who apply and on the basis of the overall budget for the scheme not being breached.
How many people will leave?
This will very much depend on the categories of staff who opt for the packages. The Government has capped the budget for the schemes at €400 million and if a large number of senior managers choose to go, it will restrict the overall numbers.
How do the two schemes differ?
There is a voluntary early retirement scheme, which is open to employees over 50. This provides for immediate payment of pension entitlements on retirement with no actuarial reduction in respect of payment prior to minimum retirement age. Full lump-sum entitlement will also be paid and payments will not take into account the salary cuts introduced in the public service earlier this year.
The voluntary redundancy scheme will involve a severance payment of three weeks’ pay per year of service in addition to statutory entitlements, subject to an overall limit of two years’ pay. This could see some senior managers getting €300,000.
Is there a deadline for applying?
Applications will have to be submitted by November 19th. Staff who take a package must leave the health service by December 30th.
Will all applications be accepted?
Applications from managerial/ administrative staff will be prioritized and will be approved automatically, subject to the overall €400 million budget not being breached.
How will services be maintained?
Management plans to use the provisions of the Croke Park agreement to redeploy staff or introduce more flexible work practices. Much will depend on the type of staff who actually leave. It may be easier to maintain services in administrative areas than if a large number of porters or catering staff, for example, from one organization took the packages.
Why are these packages on offer now?
Since the establishment of the HSE in 2005 there have been questions raised as to why there was no rationalization of administrative and managerial staff given that 11 health boards were being amalgamated. On at least two occasions in recent years the HSE and the Department of Health drew up proposals for a voluntary redundancy scheme but these were rejected by the Department of Finance.
Having signed the Croke Park deal the government now have realized it was a disaster for the taxpayers of the country with 70% of the Health Services Budget going on salaries, this commitment should never have happened because the country could not afford to shelter any group of state employees if it was going to make any real savings
So Not only is the HSE now closing down services and hospital beds they have now found 450,000,000:00 Euros to allow these middle management to retire laden down with these bumper benefits
Earlier this year we were told citizens will have to work an extra 3 years for the state pension (68)
With this deal thousands of state workers get to have their state pension up to 18 years earlier and this when the country is broke?
We the taxpayers were told back in 2005 that the rationalization of administrative and managerial staff was one of the reasons for the establishment of the HSE in the First place, given that 11 health boards were being amalgamated.
Now the taxpayers are again getting a raw deal here and the ordinary Joe public is been shafted once again having to foot the bill again! If you thought things were bad in the Health Service think again we are about to feel real pain now thanks to Harney.
Harney your hands are stained with blood and you know the country hasn’t got this 450 million it has to be borrowed why don’t you go and take all your cronies with you?
- Ireland offers 400-million-euro deal to lay off health staff (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Lord Mayor calls on Eirigi Cllr Louise Minihan to resign for attack on Mary Harney (politics.ie)
- Irish health minister pelted with paint over cuts (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Irish Health Minister Gets Doused In Red Paint For Having Austerity “Blood On Her Hands” (businessinsider.com)
- Civil servants’ ‘Fred Goodwin’ pension terms (telegraph.co.uk)