Public Service Union Leaders have Agreed to Outsourcing with scant protection for Public Service Employees
Claims by SIPTU and others to have made Progress on Outsourcing are False.
Public Service Union Leaders have Agreed to Outsourcing with scant protection for Public Service Employees.
Work can be outsourced to any company paying legally enforceable pay rates. Except in a minority of employments where special pay rates apply (eg Joint Labour Committee-JLC Rates), this means that the private sector employer is only required to pay the minimum wage
SIPTU and some other unions are claiming that the phrase “unit hourly pay rates of pay” will not determine the issue, protects public servants.
This is nonsense—READ ON!!!
Extract from “Delivery Service Options” Document
1. Work that may reasonably be considered as small in scale will be dealt with in accordance with normal procedures referred to above.
In the first instance, in respect of an existing service, both sides give a commitment to consult on the development of a service plan. This plan will evaluate the existing in-house service, the outsourcing option, and compare both. As part of the evaluation both parties will consult with a view to agreeing a plan to address the service changes necessary to retain the service in house. In evaluating any proposal to proceed with outsourcing, a number of factors will be taken into account, including overall cost, quality of service, effectiveness, and the public interest. All relevant costs will be included in the evaluation but it will not be determined by unit hourly rates of pay.
Where management decide to proceed with outsourcing, there will be regular consultation with the trade unions throughout the commissioning and procurement process.
Procurement will not result in a worsening of the pay rates, pension and employment conditions of employees remaining in the public service.
In line with the commitments in the public service agreement, there will be no compulsory redundancies in any outsourcing. Both sides will maximise redeployment opportunities.
“All relevant costs will be included in the evaluation but it will
not be determined by unit hourly rates of pay”. Is this good news?
Apparently much play is being made by SIPTU of this sentence as “proof” that employees are protected against the worst effects of outsourcing by this clause.
This is a total misrepresentation
Let us examine what this sentence actually means.
Since all relevant costs will be included in the evaluation for outsourcing, “unit hourly rates of pay” will be a factor, but not the sole determining factor.
No public service employer could operate on the basis that unit hourly rates of pay would be the only determining factor. As point 2 above states “overall cost, quality of service, effectiveness” will also be factors.
If a private sector employer was giving “poor quality of service”, lower hourly pay rates in private sector would be of little value to the public service employer.
On the other hand, the sentence also means that outsourcing can be justified even when unit pay rates in the private sector are higher than in the public sector
In its rejection statement TEEU have strongly made this point.
“Overall cost” includes the cost of continuing to employ permanent public servants though the task is “once off”. The employer would claim that such employees would be “underutilised” on a continuing basis.
Binding Arbitration The document provides for “consultation” but not for negotiation.
Any disagreement between unions and management will be resolved by binding arbitration at the Labour Court. The criteria for the adjudication will be the terms of the Croke Park Deal.
Redundancy “In line with the commitments in the public service agreement, there will be no compulsory redundancies in any outsourcing. Both sides will maximise redeployment opportunities.”
This clause is effectively the same as the “commitment” given in the General Agreement.
Outsourcing will not in itself cause “compulsory redundancy”. But an employee can be made compulsorily redundant if s/he does not agree to be redeployed as a result of outsourcing. In this agreement, Public Service unions have agreed for the first time that permanent public servants can be made compulsorily redundant in certain circumstances.
EARNINGS The commitment that “pay rates” will not be reduced by outsourcing does not protect against reduction of “incomes” or “earnings”. The take home pay of many public servants can be, and has been, drastically reduced while maintaining basic “Pay Rates”
Unions must consult with management with “a view to agreeing a plan to address the service changes necessary to retain the service in house. In the context of the recruitment ban, this can only result in a major increase in workload during the ordinary working day.
Outsourcing applies to all grades including professional grades
In the “clarification” issued by Mulvey/Foley it is stated that outsourcing applies to all parts of the public service– not just to manual and clerical services