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Posts tagged ‘Croke Park’

Message from Is Feidir Linn

Croke Park Dublin

Croke Park Dublin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Sent in to us to day

Is Feidir Linn has not been active in its own right over the last few months, but we have been participating extensively in preparing an upcoming Claiming our Future ‘National Event’ on democratic reform.

The Event – titled ‘Reinventing our Democracy’ will take place on the 26th May in Croke Park, Dublin,  and we think that many people on the Is Feidir Linn mailing list will be interested in taking part.

Democratic reform has always been central to the Is Feidir Linn agenda, and we have brought this concern to the wider coalition within Claiming our Future. Funding cuts to community groups have diminished democracy by limiting their capacity to articulate the interests of those living in poverty and inequality. The limited agenda proposed for the Constitutional Convention exposes the lack of energy in our democracy.

We need a ‘high energy’ democracy if we are to emerge from crisis and flourish as a society. We need a democracy that can raise the temperature of politics, develop alternative social and economic models, and embrace both representative and participative forms of democracy.

You can read more about the event here, and book here.

Visit Is Feidir Linn at: http://www.isfeidirlinn.org/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

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.

Mortgage market ‘wiped out’

The mortgage market has been virtually wiped out but what do electricity workers care – they’re among the highest paid in the world on an average pay of €73,ooo

Snow storm in city centre Dublin

As the Big Freeze gripped the country for the third day it emerges workers at the Electricity Supply Board are getting free electricity. Staff including its €700,000 boss Padraig McManus are entitled to the benefit, according to the Irish Independent today.

Nice perk. Electricity workers in Ireland are the best paid in the world bar none with an average wage of €73,000, according to a recent survey by Fine Gael.

While discounts are common in the public sector, today’s report will add to the growing pressure for a review of the Croke Park agreement which guarantees pay at the public sector, particularly at the upper echelons.

Padraig McManus is the highest paid semi-state boss in the country. The head of the Dublin Airport Authority isn’t far behind him.

I’ll be returning to this subject before next Tuesday’s budget, so if you have any views or historic data on public sector pay email guardian.dublin@gmail.com.

I’m particularly interested in comparing levels of pay in the public sector outside Ireland.

Mortgage wipeout

Meanwhile new figures from the Irish Banking Federation confirm anecdotal evidence the mortgage market in Ireland has been virtually wiped out with an 87% drop in the number of homeloans issued since 2006.

The IBF report shows that just 7,621 mortgage were originated in the third quarter of 2010 compared to just over 54,000 in the third quarter in 2006.

” This is as much of a market wipeout as one could have feared just 4 short years ago,” said Frank Conway, director at Irish Mortgage Corporation.

Year Units Originated
2005 53,542
2006 54,623
2007 40,992
2008 27,937
2009 12,189
2010 7,261

“While the year-on-year mortgage comparisons look very grim, it is multi-year trend that best highlights the true carnage,” added Conway.

The buy-to-let market has been virtually completely gone. No surprise, given the glut of empty homes in ghost estates, but the figures show there those in the market aren’t able to sell on.

This will fuel fears of a third wave of toxic debt in addition to NAMA debt and mortgage debt.

The buy-to-let market has not been factored in in any major way to the debate on personal debt, but there could be significant defaults in this area.

A government spokesman confirmed today there are 319,000 registered second homes in Ireland, a number inflated by the equity release binge in the boom years when it seemed easier to make money from investing in property than earning a salary or building a new business.

Some of these will be holiday homes, some rental properties, and others just empty properties in ghost estates in places like Leitrim where the wealthy bought purely for the generous 10-year tax relief, known as Section 23. One fifth of second properties are in Dublin.

In Mayo, the property binge was so bad, it is estimated that one fifth of all homes are second homes.

Many home-owners who splurged out in 2005, 2006, or 2007 will be looking at a 45 per cent decline in value of their second property and could now be struggling to pay that mortgage at a property they can no longer rent, or rent at a sufficient level to cover costs.

Back to the IBF figures. In the third quarter of 2006, there were almost 8,000 buy-to-let loans. In the third quarter of 2010, this had to just 254, representing a fall of almost 97%.

The only market that shows some sign of life is the first-time buyer market – “it’s down but it’s not out,” said Conway.

Landmark case against sub-prime lenders

The figures aren’t as alarming however as those in the repossession court in Dublin where about 70 to 90 cases are listed every Monday.

This week there was a glimmer of hope for an unemployed builder who won the right to make a high court challenge over whether UK sub-prime lender, Start Mortgages, should be able to lend in the Irish market.

Robert Gunn’s family have been in their family home in Lyre, County Kerry, for more than 300 years but fell in to arrears after he lost his job.

Newbeginning, a new free legal aid service set up by a group of barristers to help those facing repossession won a judicial review on his behalf.

The case is due to be heard on December 16 and could have implications for thousands of mortgages granted by Start.

Gunn’s counsel argued in the high court that Start Mortgages was not legally authorised to lend in Ireland as its assignation as an official “credit institution” was given by the financial regulator. His legal team said that only the central bank had the power to prescribe an entity as a “credit institution”.

Start denied the claim and argued it had been prescribed as a credit institution in 2004.

source http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/ireland-business-blog-with-lisa-ocarroll/2010/dec/01/mortgage-market-wiped-out-ireland


With a big helping hand from our friends Fianna Fail and their cronies in the Dail the next big disaster is about to hit us and that is the deluge of mortgage defaults heading our way and again  another black hole to be stuffed with borrowed money the taxpayers will have to find from their ever diminishing salaries.at the same time not everybody is helping out some are being well looked after along with their bosses

Taxpayers getting shafted once again

The Irish Times – Tuesday, November 2, 2010



Who will benefit from the early retirement/voluntary redundancy schemes? 

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.

Minister for Health Mary Harney said about 4,000 managerial and administrative staff could leave. The HSE said it was estimating that between 3,000 and 5,000 personnel could go.

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.

source http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/1102/1224282482579.html


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?

Essential services and civil servants’ jobs are on the block!

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has insisted that the Government will not be walking away from the Croke Park deal
There has been increasing speculation that the agreement on public sector pensions and reform could be under threat, given the deepening crisis in the public finances.
But IMPACT, the union representing public sector workers, said it met with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan earlier this week and received assurances that the Government was still committed to the plan.
Tánaiste Mary Coughlan today reiterated the Government is still willing to live up to its end of the agreement:
“We are very much committed to the deal and we feel that it is the most appropriate way in which we can bring transformation in the public sector,” she said.
Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/coughlan-govt-still-committed-to-croke-park-deal-476607.html#ixzz11a5wQnq5
I wouldn’t bet on the government sticking to their word I will bet that they are just biding their time, one look at the graph below tells you that they have no choice in the matter.
The only doctors that are getting work are the government’s spin doctors.
Quietly all over the country beds and services are been closed and been removed, I found this report (Behind the Croke Park dealPDF) on such closures earlier this year and things have only gotten worse!
Bottom line the government has run out of money because of the financial lunacy of bailing out bankrupt banks and the gambling subordinate bond holders of Anglo Irish Bank
Essential services and civil servants’ jobs are on the block!

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