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Where Did It All Go Wrong In The Public Sector? Benchmarking And The Programme For Prosperity And Fairness


YouKnowWhatIMeanLike

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Where Did It All Go Wrong In The Public Sector? Benchmarking And The Programme For Prosperity And Fairness

I think one has to ask where and when did it all go wrong to understand the current labour & pay conflicts in the public sector. Is it fair to cut public sector pay now by more than 20% in 5 years? When did pay and remuneration packages went out of control in the public sector?

I had a quick look at how the events unfolded since 2000. And the ICTU identifies Berties Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF) from 2000 as the cause for Benchmarking. As a direct result of PPF talks the Public Service Benchmarking Body (PSBB) was established in July 2000 and chaired by John Quirke.

But how did the recommendation for a 10% to 15% increase in the public sector in 2002 did go so badly wrond and end up in an actual 50% increase by 2008? Where did it all go wrong? Did the unions push to hard? Did FF buy elections with the promise for even further increased pay package in the public sector? Who increased the salaries in the public sector? Politicians, public servants or some helping hands of private bankers?
 

IbrahaimMohamad

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I think one has to ask where and when did it all go wrong to understand the current labour & pay conflicts in the public sector. Is it fair to cut public sector pay now by more than 20% in 5 years? When did pay and remuneration packages went out of control in the public sector?

I had a quick look at how the events unfolded since 2000. And the ICTU identifies Berties Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF) from 2000 as the cause for Benchmarking. As a direct result of PPF talks the Public Service Benchmarking Body (PSBB) was established in July 2000 and chaired by John Quirke.

But how did the recommendation for a 10% to 15% increase in the public sector in 2002 did go so badly wrond and end up in an actual 50% increase by 2008? Where did it all go wrong? Did the unions push to hard? Did FF buy elections with the promise for even further increased pay package in the public sector? Who increased the salaries in the public sector? Politicians, public servants or some helping hands of private bankers?
Fairness has nothing to do with it! It is all about having a public service we can afford, as well as paying welfare benefits we can afford!
 

YouKnowWhatIMeanLike

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Fairness has nothing to do with it! It is all about having a public service we can afford, as well as paying welfare benefits we can afford!
we had a public service we could afford, but an orgy of greed took possession of decision makers in the public sector sometime after 2002. I'd like to know when exactly this happened. Did it coincide with the establishment of the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector and the appointment of the former Anglo Irish Bank Chairman as the chief adviser on government on pay in 2004?
 

IbrahaimMohamad

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we had a public service we could afford, but an orgy of greed took possession of decision makers in the public sector sometime after 2002. I'd like to know when exactly this happened. Did it coincide with the establishment of the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector and the appointment of former a Anglo Irish Bank Chairman as the chief adviser on government on pay in 2004?
Why not go back to having a Public Sector we can afford?
 

Eoin Coir

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Just one answer: Bertie & FF. Those PS leeches think others should go without just to look after them, or else we just continue borrowing for their sake.
 

Lassie

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n 1978, PAYE accounted for 87 per cent of all income tax revenue. In the 1979 budget, the Fianna Fáil government imposed a special 2 per cent levy on farm produce, which was supposed to offset some of the unequal demand on the PAYE sector workers. The Irish Farmers Association launched a series of protests and the government removed the levy. When this was announced, several spontaneous protests took place, culminating in a call for strike action.

The ICTU leaders, no more militant then than they are now, refused to get involved in a strike, but they did support a proposal by the ITGWU to have a demonstration outside working hours. On 11 March, 50,000 people marched through Dublin, most of them calling for a general strike. The ICTU continued to oppose any strike action so the Dublin Trades' Council was called on to organise a stoppage on 20 March.

An estimated 150,000 or more people marched through Dublin on 20 March and other protests took place in thirty towns throughout the country, including a march by 40,000 workers in Cork. The march wasn't due to leave Parnell Square until 2.30 p.m. but had to start at 2.00 p.m. because the surrounding area was so clogged up with thousands of workers. At one point the march stretched up O'Connell Street, D'Olier Street, College Green, Dawson Street, St. Stephen's Green, Merrion Row, Upper Merrion Street, Lincoln Place, Westland Row, Pearse Street, Westmoreland Street and back to O'Connell Street, with as many as twenty to thirty abreast on most streets. Mai Clifford, the DCTU's first woman president, led the march, from which Congress leaders were conspicuously absent.
he Irish bank strikes between 1966 and 1976 were three strikes of about a year's total duration which closed down all the clearing banks in the Republic of Ireland. The strikes provided economists a unique opportunity to study the functioning of a modern economy without access to bank deposits.[1]

The strikes affected all the associated banks which comprise of the Bank of Ireland, the Allied Irish Banks, the Northern Bank and the Ulster Bank. The strikes lasted from:
May 7 – July 30 1966
May 1 – November 17, 1970
June 28 – September 6, 1976

The longest strike was of six months in 1970.
pOst office strike 1979 too. Partner ship as designed to ease industrial action.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_bank_strikes_1966–1976
 

YouKnowWhatIMeanLike

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I'd broadly agree with that -- though I'd still like to know the precise mechanism by which it occurred.
exactly we had a good plan in 2002 for further sensible pay increases but it turned into a complete free-for-all bonanza in the public sector in the following years.

 
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gatsbygirl20

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we had a public service we could afford, but an orgy of greed took possession of decision makers in the public sector sometime after 2002. I'd like to know when exactly this happened. Did it coincide with the establishment of the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector and the appointment of the former Anglo Irish Bank Chairman as the chief adviser on government on pay in 2004?
I wonder if you really just want to know "what happened"

Your "orgy of greed" comment gives you away.

Are you hoping for an "orgy" of posts lacerating "greedy" PS workers, as is the norm here?

I refuse to have the modest increases I received during the boom to try to keep pace with spiralling prices in the private sector, referred to as "an orgy of greed"

I have had two paycuts as well as USC etc which have comfortably brought me back to pre-"orgy of greed" levels

Yes ,ps workers got pay increases during the Tiger. Yes, that cost a lot of money, because of the large number of public servants who had to be paid (that does not mean that individual public servants enriched themselves)

The small minority at the very top really took care of themselves, just like in the private sector

Bertie added to PS numbers big time. Some of this came from loud and vocal demands by the citizens themselves (the huge number of SNAs in schools, for example)

All these people had to be paid and given whatever pay increases everyone else got

It cost a lot of money.

But do you honestly believe that "the orgy of greed" during the Tiger was among ordinary PS workers?
 

YouKnowWhatIMeanLike

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I wonder if you really just want to know "what happened"

Your "orgy of greed" comment gives you away.

Are you hoping for an "orgy" of posts lacerating "greedy" PS workers, as is the norm here?

I refuse to have the modest increases I received during the boom to try to keep pace with spiralling prices in the private sector, referred to as "an orgy of greed"

I have had two paycuts as well as USC etc which have comfortably brought me back to pre-"orgy of greed" levels

Yes ,ps workers got pay increases during the Tiger. Yes, that cost a lot of money, because of the large number of public servants who had to be paid (that does not mean that individual public servants enriched themselves)

The small minority at the very top really took care of themselves, just like in the private sector

Bertie added to PS numbers big time. Some of this came from loud and vocal demands by the citizens themselves (the huge number of SNAs in schools, for example)

All these people had to be paid and given whatever pay increases everyone else got

It cost a lot of money.

But do you honestly believe that "the orgy of greed" during the Tiger was among ordinary PS workers?
The Orgy of Greed expression comes from Pat Cox describing the behavior of Irish banks during the Tiger on one of the Marian Finucane shows.

But yes there was a total disconnect between what is fair pay and demands in the public sector starting with at latest in 2002. By 2005 this turned into complete madness and people lost it altogether. But can they now demand to be kept on the same rates?
 

Telemachus

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exactly we had a good plan in 2002 for further sensible pay increases but it turned into a complete free-for-all bonanza in the public sector in the following years.

Would be good to see the rest of that graph. I would expect to see a wide divergence in the two lines.

FF were to stupid to have inserted a reverse benchmarking clause during economic contraction which would have prevented this mess.
 

Rocky

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Would be good to see the rest of that graph. I would expect to see a wide divergence in the two lines.

FF were to stupid to have inserted a reverse benchmarking clause during economic contraction which would have prevented this mess.
If the government tried to enforce such a reverse benchmarking clause the public sector would have fought it and we would be largely where we are.

Once you give someone, something they feel they're enttitled to it and they become dependent on it and it becomes very hard to take it back.
 

SideysGhost

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But do you honestly believe that "the orgy of greed" during the Tiger was among ordinary PS workers?
Welll....from the point of view of ordinary private sector workers, those of us who lived through the Bertie Bubble, there seems to be a disproportionate amount of people with good pay, fat pensions, and a collection of BTLs who are public sector workers. And the figures certainly seem to prove that youse were paid far better than most private-sector workers all the way along, which by itself negates the entire rationale behind benchmarking.

Now doubtless there are huge numbers of ordinary PS workers who never got involved in the madness and at the lower level just couldn't afford to, but the anecdotal evidence from pretty much anyone in the private sector who lived in the south during the Ahern era....like me....was that all our landlords were teachers, garda, nurses....public sector. All the people in my extended family with property portfolios are public sector.

Now I know plenty of people I worked with that were filling their boots too, this is by no means a private/public rant....but the anecdotal evidence and impression remains that the bulk of landlords/small-time property speculators were public sector workers.

Twould be interesting to get real facts and figures to see if this is true, or just an impression left by the madness.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Job for life coupled with unaccountability.
Union policy based on extortionism and protectionism instead of service delivery.
Political cowardice.

The problems are far more fundamental than benchmarking.

It's the cultural entitlement, Benchmarking is just a symptom of that.
 

mhagain

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But yes there was a total disconnect between what is fair pay and demands in the public sector starting with at latest in 2002. By 2005 this turned into complete madness and people lost it altogether. But can they now demand to be kept on the same rates?
It's kind of weird the way you are pinning this on the ordinary public sector worker, don't you think? The ordinary worker certainly never indulged in "demands" or "madness" as you describe them. During what you call the "orgy of greed" what was actually happening was that workers were recieving pay increases substantially below the rate of inflation, while the last 2 or so rounds of benchmarking actually went to management only (which - odd coincidence - happened to represent the public sector grades to which politicians pay are linked). Believe me, ordinary public sector workers did not recieve pay increases of 50% during the time period in question, and that exposes the fallacy of relying on averages and extrapolating them as all-inclusive figures.

The point being made about not being able to afford it nowadays is valid, but let's look at a more sensible approach than howling for across-the-board cuts.

What would you think of a suggestion to begin at the last benchmarking increase given and roll it back? Then go to the next last one, and roll that back too. Continue working backwards in that manner. Of course, that would mean that the initial rollbacks would affect management only. And politicans too. What would you say to that?
 
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