Strict safeguards required to avoid abuse and ensure reform

Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has called on the Government to clarify what safeguards and restrictions it is putting in place, having admitted, in reply to a Parliamentary Question from Deputy Troy to Minister James Reilly, that public servants retiring this month may be kept on in their posts.

Deputy Troy said: “Ministers have been emphasising the need for flexibility in redeployment within the public sector, but an utter failure to plan for nearly 8,000 public service retirements over the past year has now left the country with the prospect of public service workers receiving lump sum retirement payments and being kept on in their jobs.  The question of how they would manage the departure of large numbers of public servants has been on each Minister’s desk since the day they were appointed.  It is increasingly clear that this important question has been ignored.

“The Minister for Public Expenditure must immediately state what safeguards he is putting in place to ensure that this only applies to the most critical posts and that any such exceptions are strictly time-limited.

“The Minister for Education has said that teachers with exam classes will be facilitated until the end of the exam cycle this summer.  We must be very clear that if certain mission-critical public servants are kept in their posts beyond the end of this month, it is by rare exception only.

“Any attempt at wholesale retention of workers who are taking lump sum retirement payments is wrong.  It frustrates the efforts of young professionals trying to get posts in this country and will quickly exhaust the public’s support for public sector reform.”