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Thousands of HSE jobs to go in E400m scheme
[Posted: Mon 01/11/2010 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
Health Minister Mary Harney has confirmed that voluntary redundancy and retirement schemes costing €400 million are being introduced for health service admin, management and support staff staff.
The Minister said today the purpose of the schemes is to achieve a permanent reduction in the numbers employed in the public health sector from 2011 onwards and to facilitate health service reform.
However, the HSE has warned that implementing the scheme would be challenging and could lead to gaps in service provision.
It is expected that around 5,000 staff may be shed from the HSE as a result of the new programmes and it is estimated that €200 million per annum will be saved as a reuslt of the redundancies.
The Minister said the schemes will be open to both management and admin grades and support staff, but priority will be given to management and admin. Eligible staff have until December 30 to resign or retire.
Ms Harney said €400 million would be provided this year to fund the schemes and the funding had been approved by the Department of Finance.
She said there was general acceptance of the need to reduce management and admin staff in the health service and for that reason, all applications from management and admin staff to avail of the schemes would be approved.
Under the voluntary redundancy scheme, staff are being offered a severance payment of three weeks pay per year plus statutory redundancy subject to an overall limit of two years pay or if less, one-half of the salary payable to the official pension age.
The staff concerned will also get their pension and lump sum payments on attaining the preserved pension age of 60 or 65 as appropriate.
The early retirement scheme is open to employees over 50 who already have two calendar years accrued superannuation benefits under a public service scheme and who have not yet reached formal retirement age.
The retirement scheme provides for immediate payment of pension entitlement with no reduction in respect of payment prior to the official retirement age.
It also provides for immediate payment of a pension-related lump sum entitlement, that is, the full lump sum entitlement accrued to retirement date with no reduction in respect of payment prior to the formal retirement age.
Public service pay reductions implemented in January of this year will be disregarded in calculating pensionable salary under the early retirement scheme.
The HSE has admitted that it is top-heavy with clerical and admin staff. When the organisation was set up to replace the health boards in 2005, no redundancies were implemented.
Already, as a result of the recruitment moratorium, the health service staff complement will have been reduced by 3,000 by the end of this year, with a further 3,000 jobs expected to br taken out of the system under the jobs replacement freeze by the end of 2012.
With the addition of the new voluntary redundancy/retirement schemes, the HSE may have shed well in excess of 10,000 posts by the end of 2012.
The new redundancy and retirement schemes will be offered to around 28,000 staff, with an expected uptake of around 5,000.
HSE director of human resources Sean McGrath said the compressed time-frame for the new schemes, with staff having only until November 19 to apply for them, reflected the pressing financial challenges facing the Irish economy and our health services currently.
"While both schemes present a significant opportunity for many members of staff, their implementation will significantly challenge the health services over the coming months."
Mr McGrath said unanticipated gaps would undoubtedly develop in different parts of the organisation. "This is likely to present potential risks and pressures for particular departments and individuals within the system."
Because of the expedited nature of both of these schemes, the continued support, co-operation and flexibility of staff, and their respective unions or representative associations, is critical to help deal with issues that may arise as a result of the implementation of both schemes, he said
The HSE said given the economic outlook, similar funding for redundancy schemes are unlikely to be available in the future for these grades of staff.
Currently, there are around 17,000 management and admin staff in the HSE and 12,000 general support staff. Total HSE staff numbers are around 110,000
|anony Posted: 01/11/2010 15:56|
It is a sign of the unaccountability when the total employed is 'around' a certain figure! Why can the exact number not be given?
Where is the money coming from which will be needed to pay out these generous redundancies and severance payments. Imagine full pension with two years of contributions!
Hope it does not happen that some of these who do take the package will not be re-hired on a contract basis to do the same work?
|buzz Posted: 02/11/2010 09:30|
"Hope it does not happen that some of these who do take the package will not be re-hired on a contract basis to do the same work?"
My thoughts exactly!
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