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Posts tagged ‘Croke Park agreement’

Self preservation & votes = Croke park

In response to the previous posting

By Thomás O Cléirigh

I don’t find it difficult to understand, the political Gangsters/ Gombeens in Government are only looking after business as usual and that is self preservation (votes to me and you)! The Votes that will keep these political leeches sucking us dry as long as they toss a few crumbs to the public servants in the system. We have 300,000 people employed by the state and they  mostly cannot be fired!, they enjoy perks and pensions that would be a dream come true to another worker in the country. Allowances that would be viewed as excessive to say the least by any private company  !

The Coke park agreement was a sweetheart deal done to encourage the corrupt Union Bosses into keeping the peace and the workers off the streets! The Union Bosses are nothing more that collaborators and are equally guilty of the dismantling of local services to our citizens in favour of keeping the ranks of the civil service overflowed . They have betrayed the workers and I suppose that workers now unemployed are no longer paying dues to these corrupt Unions  so they can be dis-guarded anyway!

The conundrum the government is facing  in is this, they have raped and pillaged the ordinary people and their households. The easy and non protected citizens of Ireland  and now, the TRIOKA are now rightly looking for the culling of the elephant in the room, as there is nothing more to be got from the bludgeoned taxpayers and homeowners and the workers in the private sector. There is no more room for downsizing and the enormous elephant (the public service ) must now be downsized to meet the new reality that is the lot for the rest of us ordinary taxpayers  in the country!

The politicians are protecting their own power base and it is a shame that the masses of the unemployed do not get up off their backsides and organize a permanent protest outside the Dail  in their hundreds of thousands and force their plight on to the agenda ,Jobs, education, Health services and a roof over their heads .They should hound these pests out of the Dail! There are over that 480,000 people Unemployed just imagine what changes we could make to our country if they all would get up and stop accepting crumbs from the table of the gangsters running the country?

This country is run for the sole benefit of the political elite and their insider’s pals and the Financial money men everybody else is just there to be used and abused!

These self-serving politicians, have divided our society  and the name of the game is keep us all fighting each other and they can then stay on top and get fat and rich while the rest of us are so afraid to come out on to the streets and be labelled radicals. We must now get up of our collective knees and pull these blood suckers, liars and con artists of our backs period!

Troika doubts over Croke Park

Serious misgivings have emerged about the scale of savings being achieved under the Croke Park agreement in advance of the latest troika visit to assess progress under the bailout.

It is understood that experts from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank are becoming increasingly frustrated with how the Coalition is implementing the bailout by cutting services to the public rather than tackling vested interests in the public service and professions.
While the troika is satisfied that overall targets for deficit reduction are being met, there is concern at the way they are being achieved, according to sources involved in the process. It is also understood that there is concern about the budget overruns in health.
Signs of growing discontent have also emerged on the Fine Gael backbenches, with several TDs becoming increasingly critical of the Government’s approach to making savings in the public service pay bill.
Confirmation by chairman of the implementation body PJ Fitzpatrick to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that increments and allowances are not part of the Croke Park deal has aggravated Fine Gael TDs. The disclosure that departments are calculating savings made………………………………..

full article at source: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/1015/breaking1.html

Howlin lauds sham cost savings in Croke Park public service agreement

By Michael Hennigan of Finfacts

Irish Economy 2012: The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, today welcomed the publication by the Implementation Body for the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 (‘Croke Park Agreement’) of its Second Annual Progress Report. He claims that €1.5bn in pay and ‘administrative efficiency’ savings have been achieved in the past two years. However, these savings are a sham. This report is a sham because of the focus on pay rather than both pay and pensions and the benchmark year selected.

There would be no savings on the pay and pensions bill by 2015 if 2006 — the peak year of the boom was the benchmark year.

  • The report of activities by      Ireland’s biggest employer has a long list of ‘achievements’ — not      difficult in itself to produce a laundry list involving the activities of      290,000 people.      Efficiencies      realised from the closure of barracks: €1.3m;
  • Prison Service canteen      facilities: €1.4m;
  • Changes in work practices      and value for money initiatives in the Naval Service: €2m;
  • Non pay gains in the Garda      Síochána: €24m;
  • Central Mental Hospital      roster changes: €1m.

.. and on the list goes on all ‘savings’ on exorbitant levels.

Big issues are not addressed and this list of ‘savings’ should not be seen as the result of radical change in structures but a reality of a staff embargo and a limit from the reckless spending levels of the boom period

Full article at source: http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1024483.shtml

A HIGHLY paid teacher union leader who earns up to €158,000 a year has not

By Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Friday May 06 2011

A HIGHLY paid teacher union leader who earns up to €158,000 a year has not
taken a pay cut, although thousands of his members have had their salaries

The 15,800 rank-and-file teachers who are members
of the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) have
endured a 14pc pay cut in the past two years.

But its general secretary Peter McMenamin’s pay remains the same — even
though it is linked to a grade in the civil service that has also been hit by a
pay cut.

Mr McMenamin refused to comment last night on why he is still on the old
pre-pay-cut salary level — and refused to reveal exactly what he is paid.

His union would only say that his pay scale ranges from €131,748 to

The pay of officials in the teaching and lecturing unions is funded through
subscriptions from members.

These subscriptions are usually deducted from salaries at source, by the
Department of Education and Skills.

The revelation about Mr McMenamin’s pay comes as more than half the 23 public
sector union leaders refused to disclose how much they were being paid.

But it has emerged that none of the other senior
TUI officials — among the unions most resistant to public sector reforms
outlined in the Croke Park
Agreement — have taken a pay cut.

In stark contrast, senior members of the INTO teaching union have taken a

INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan, whose pay is also based on the same
assistant secretary grade as Mr McMenamin’s, revealed she had taken a pay cut.
However, her potential earnings remain around €153,885.

The TUI, which only recently backed the Croke Park deal, defended its
decision not to cut the pay of officials at head office in the wake of the last
Government’s pension levy and pay cut.

The wages of more than 300,000 public servants were slashed by an average

TUI president Bernie Ruane said: “Both TUI’s annual congress last year and
the union’s executive committee decided that head office staff would not have
their pay cut.

“The union opposes pay cuts for anybody and accordingly refused to make cuts
to the salaries of its own staff.”

The motion put forward by delegates at the TUI conference, which was
defeated, called for pay cuts to ensure membership and employees of the union
were “treated equally”.

Many unions who would not reveal pay details have been most resistant to the
Croke Park agreement, including university teacher union IFUT, which has still
not backed the deal.

Teacher unions, including the TUI, only recently agreed to work extra hours
that were due to commence at the start of the last school year.

Others, including the AHCPS, would not give pay figures and would only refer
to the public sector pay grades their leaders’ wages are linked to.

General secretary of the Public Service Executive Union, Tom Geraghty, whose
union represents 11,250 mid-ranking civil servants, said he regarded questions
about his pay “intrusive prurience”.


The Garda Representative Association said that its leader’s salary was
“personal information”.

General secretary of the largest dedicated public sector union, IMPACT, Shay
Cody, would not give details of his current pay but did reveal he had taken a
pay cut.

His spokesperson said his pay was no longer linked to the pay of the Cork
county manager, which stood at €171,313 in 2009.

He said Mr Cody had taken a voluntary pay cut and waived a portion of his
salary on appointment, and also declined a public sector pay award.

Construction union BATU, which has up to 500 public sector members, said
officials’ pay had dropped by 40pc in the last two years but would not say what
general secretary Paddy O’Shaughnessy’s pay was.

However, other unions were more open about their leaders’ wages.

They included SIPTU, where staff took a 5pc pay
cut while national officers took a 10pc pay cut, bringing general president Jack
‘s basic pay down to €112,000 a year.

The survey also reveals huge discrepancies in what unions pay their

For example, the head of the small trade union, OPATSI, is paid around
€45,000 — less than a third of what some teachers’ representatives get.

Jimmy Kelly, head of UNITE, which has 60,000 public and private sector
members, earns €60,000 a year, while PDFORRA leader, Gerry Rooney, with 8,000
members, earns €96,000.

Meanwhile, employer body IBEC refused to give details of its director general
Danny McCoy’s pay.

– Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Irish Independent

source: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/union-chief-keeps-top-pay-as-teachers-suffer-2639341.html


A touch of “I’m all right Jack”!

“We do not and cannot accept the principal that incompetence justifies
dismissal “
This only exposes to cosy number these top Union Bosses have
the talk the Talk the talk but do not walk the walk! They are living in another
world and are just as out of touch as their political pals with the masses . This is why we are not seeing mass demonstrations on the streets these guys are quite happy with
the way things are and have gone native with the politicians and are keeping
the masses off the streets

We need a new clean out of the top Unions they are not representing
the real needs of the workers!

The current union bosses can be relied to tow the line just like their champagne socialists
in the Labour party.

latest from Ronan lyons

A little over a year ago, I wrote about the “eight things on Ireland’s to-do list” when it came to Government finances. It outlined three taxation measures and five expenditure measures that would help a Government get the deficit back to manageable levels by 2015, while facing an interest rate above 5% on a growing national debt.

The three main tax measures will be familiar with to long-standing readers of the blog: increasing the amount of income tax the typical earner pays, introducing a Universal Social Charge, and bringing in a sustainable annual property tax. These were designed to bring total Exchequer revenues up from €51bn to about €58bn by 2015.

The job for expenditure was an even bigger one: to go from total spending of almost €70bn in 2010 to about €60bn. The reason that this job is so tricky is because €45bn of the €55bn in current expenditure in 2010 was spending on healthcare, education or social welfare, areas many members of the public most want to see protected.

Low hanging fruit

One of the eight things I had was reducing capital spending slowly over the period to a sustainable level of €4.6bn. This would save almost €2bn of the €10bn needed. Already, though, the estimate of capital spending for 2011 is €4.6bn. This means that in three short years, capital spending has been halved. Aside from those work on these projects, whose livelihoods we should not discount, the people who benefit from capital projects are “future us”: you, me and our children, using better roads, rail, or broadband, for example. Compared to the public servants that the Government has to work with every day, though, “future us” is a very easy target. The easy cuts have been made.

If the same scale of cuts had been made in health, education and social welfare, the government would have saved €20bn! Instead, spending in those three areas this year will be €2bn higher than in 2008, largely due to more people needing social welfare. The depressing conclusion is that, three tough Budgets later, all the “low-hanging fruit” has been picked, leaving just the more painful cuts needed to close the deficit.

Clearly, though, it isn’t as easy to cut spending in health, education and social welfare. That’s because the bulk of all this money goes directly into someone else’s pocket as income. What these departments need is a combination of natural attrition of staff and productivity-driven growth that delivers savings each year every year for five years of the order of 5%. This is on a completely different scale to what the Croke Park Agreement has currently planned. It is estimated that its efficiency measures in education would save 0.5%, one tenth of the savings needed in a single year.

Slash and burn?

Worryingly, there isn’t the first indication yet that the new Government has a grasp on the scale of transformation in public spending needed. Earlier this month, the Department of Finance published its briefing note to the new Minister – complete with blacked out paragraphs right out of Hollywood. It included yet more easy targets: there are plans to further cut capital spending to just €3.6bn. Amazingly, though, where one might have expected cuts of the order of €4bn in health and education over the next five years, there are cuts of less than €300m! Spending in education is actually projected to increase slightly. Given that, it’s almost surreal to see Ruairi Quinn, Minister for Education, come out today and say that cuts in education will not be ’slash and burn’

Ireland’s government finances, by major area (€m), 2008-2014

A comparison of 2008, 2011 and where we might be in 2014, both my own thoughts [RL] and those gleaned from the Department of Finance report [DOF], is in the graph above. Income is on the left, spending is on the right. The Department of Finance do not include projections in relation to taxation – but we can at least back out some round numbers, the shaded purple numbers on the left, based on the total for spending and the ceiling on the deficit.

Looking to Budget 2012

There are three things that worry me about the Department of Finance’s numbers.

  • The first – as mentioned above – is that they are still going for the easy options, cutting capital spending and increasing spending on education.
  • The second is that to compensate they are, even if only implicitly, planning for greater tax increases on a private sector already credit starved and hard-pressed with unemployment and negative equity.
  • Lastly, the only way the numbers tally as they do is because they are counting on social welfare expenditure to fall by almost €3bn. I had estimated a fall in welfare payments of €1.2bn, based on a 2% economic growth rate. What growth rates are they using?

Budget 2012 will be the first proper opportunity the new Government has to stamp its authority on the direction its finances take over the next few years. It must seize that opportunity and put in place realistic targets.

Last week, I appeared on Eamon Dunphy’s radio show. Someone texted into the show and referred to myself and others as public sector “bashers”. This came as a surprise to me. I want well-funded public services that deliver an excellent social return on the investment taxpayers make. Nor am I a public-sector-worker basher. I want those who work in services that are publicly provided to be well-paid. But we won’t be able to do these things if we can’t prove to ourselves and others that the Government is able to spend in accordance with the money it earns. And there is no indication yet that the new Government is aware of the size of the challenge.

full article source: http://www.ronanlyons.com/2011/04/26/%e2%80%9cslash-and-burn%e2%80%9d-anything-but-the-need-for-realism-in-budget-2012/


 With the introduction of  the Universal Social Charge,( you’re suggestion)  the bringing in an annual property tax not to mention the proposed water charges, the new proposed toll on National roads, the selling of state assets, the ever increasing billions to bail out the toxic banks, and the constant increase in petrol prices  ,I’m sure a few more taxes on the average worker is just what the country needs right now ,Never mind the lottery salaries the TD’s get and the pensions and perks the last 120 gangsters got when they  left the Dail. What about the immoral and ** unjustified massive salaries of the top people in the various guanos .Until the government cuts these massive salaries down to the European norms at least, they are risking open revolt. With reference to your appearance on MR. Dunphy’s show I can only say you appear to be totally out of touch with the struggle ordinary people are trying to cope with and I believe it won’t take much more for the people to bring about civil unrest the likes Europe hasn’t seen yet if this government continue to look after the insiders and well connected .I am sure if I had you salary I wouldn’t mind paying more taxes .Have you noticed that the majority of so called experts that come on these shows  are in fact been paid bloated salaries out of the public purse.

PDF on  Top Public servents pay

I hope to God the IMF will force the government to cut these extravagant salaries and quick and then let’s see them call for more taxes!  

** http://thepressnet.com/2011/04/24/we-need-an-easer-rising-today/

The Poor Can’t pay, join the campaign

In the ‘Croke Park Agreement’ the Government offers a commitment to civil servants that they will face no further cuts in their wages in 2011. However, despite repeated questions the Government is unable to offer those on the lowest incomes the same assurance.

Ireland’s economic crisis has required most sectors of our society to face cutbacks and get by on lower incomes. .Despite repeated commitments from all sides that Ireland would ‘protect the vulnerable’, those who live on the lowest incomes have already taken a very substantial part of the burden:

  • very many of those on lowest incomes have suffered the enormous loss of losing their jobs
  • many others are working reduced hours or at lower rates of pay
  • all social welfare payments were cut by 5% in January 2010: for an unemployed couple with two children this meant a drop of €13.60 a week, leaving them a weekly income of €477 per week. This is €44 per week or 8% below the poverty line.

We know that there are more cuts on the way. The Poor Can’t Pay is looking for a recognition that those on the lowest incomes in Irish society have already been asked to carry more than their fair share of the burden and their incomes should not be cut further.

The Poor Can’t Pay argues that the same commitment that the Government has offered to civil servants can and must be made to those who depend upon the social welfare system to survive.

We are asking you to make a personal commitment that you will do everything in your power to ensure that those on the lowest incomes are protected from the next round of cutbacks.

For details of how the 2009 Budget drove already hard pressed individuals and families further into poverty and hardship see how The Poor Were Made To Pay

PDF doc here How the Poor Were Made to Pay


source http://www.thepoorcantpay.ie/-time-to-make-a-commitment

The Poor Can’t Pay – Protect Their Incomes

All sorts of ordinary people who were struggling on very low incomes in 2009 are now seeing their incomes fall further. And there may well be additional cuts and charges on the way.

The fall in the cost of living in 2009 did not lift these households out of poverty, and cuts in wages, working hours and welfare payments pushed them deeper in.

The cuts to community organisations, health services and education impact on these families and individual, but the cuts in their incomes represent a particular and real threat to their well being. It is to fight this threat that a wide range of community organisations, charities and trade unions have come together to form the ‘The Poor Can’t Pay’.

The campaign currently being run by IBEC, ISME and others to lower the Minimum Wage and pay rates agreed through Employment Rights Orders and Registered Employment Agreements has the potential to see the already low incomes of more than 600,000 people reduced.

Rising unemployment and a worrying trend towards greater casualisation of the work force in sectors such as hospitality and retail is pushing many individuals and families to breaking point.

In 2010, The Poor Can’t Pay is calling on Government to protect the incomes of those whose current income is near, on or below the Government’s own definition of income poverty.

There are 615,000 people, or 14% of the population, living in poverty, according to the Central Statistics Office. Almost 200,000 of them are children. 116,000 of them are in employment.

To live in poverty in  2010  means, among other things, to live on an annual income of €11,719 for a single person, €15,585 for a lone parent with one child, and €23,321 for a two parent family with two children.

This would amount to a weekly income of €224 for the single person; €298 for the lone parent with one child; and €521 for two parents with two children

The numbers of people living just above the poverty line is even greater. 25% of households in the country live on an income of €20,000 or less a year. More than 50% of households in the country live on an income of €40,000 or less a year.

Many of these households live close to the poverty line.

 The impact of the cuts so far

Far from being protected, people on the lowest incomes have been amongst the hardest hit by the first phase of cutbacks.  In 2010 household income of an unemployed couple with two children will drop by €13.60 from its 2009 level, giving them a weekly income of €477 per week. This is €44 per week or 8% below the poverty line.

The household income of working lone parent with one child will drop by €17.70 from its 2009 level, giving them a weekly income of €441 before childcare costs are taken into account and €291 after childcare. This is €7 per week or 2% below the poverty line.

The weekly income of newly unemployed single people aged between 22 and 24 will be €150 per week which is €75 or 33% below the poverty line. While this would increase to €196 is she or he participates in an approved training programme, assuming the training is appropriate and available, it would still be €28 or 12.5% below the poverty line.

Many people with disabilities will also see their income fall. The household income of a person claiming the blind pension will drop by €8 from its 2009 level, giving them a weekly income €329 per week.

Older people, particularly the 50% solely dependent upon the state pension for their income, will also face increasing charges in the coming year. The return of medical cards, the introduction of prescription charges and the carbon tax all have the potential to impose real reductions in the spending power of the state pension.

The Poor Can’t Pay campaign, in advance of Budget 2010, argued that these households should not be made to pay for the bad decisions and practices of others. We argued that they could not afford reductions in wages or benefit levels.

The Government chose to ignore our arguments, and as demonstrated in our analysis of the impact of the budget, How The Poor Were Made To Pay, pushed already hard pressed individuals and families further into poverty and hardship.

The Poor Can’t Pay campaign is now deeply concerned that these same households will face further attacks on their low incomes in 2010.

We say The Poor Can’t Pay so Protect their Incomes – If you support this principle, join our campaign and make sure, this time, that the Government listen to our demands.

Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas!

Turkeys (AHCPS) won’t vote for Christmas

Higher civil and public servants have voted in favour of supporting the Croke Park agreement on public sector pay and reform.

The Association of Civil and Public Servants (AHCPS) today announced the result of its ballot on the plan for 2010-2014 agreed between the Government and trade union leaders in March.

It said some 72 per cent of its membership voted in the ballot on the executive committee’s recommendation to endorse the agreement.

The proposal was carried by 1,936 votes to 330 votes, or 85.5 per cent to 14.5 per cent.

Why am I not surprised ???

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