Belfast Telegraph

Civil servants warned of pay cuts

Civil servants have been threatened with further pay cuts unless they agree to more job losses and flexible working arrangements.

Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin warned more redundancies were on the cards despite almost 5,400 state employees leaving in the last year.

The public wage bill has come down by 298 million euro due primarily to the cut in numbers while another 308 million euro was clawed back in administrative reforms.

Mr Howlin said public servants needed to up their game despite savings being above target.

"If we don't get the flexibilities, if we don't get the savings voluntarily then we have to resort again to pay cuts," the minister said.

"That's the bottom of the Government's agenda. That's a place we don't want to go to.

"But we have to have the savings."

The Croke Park pay and reform deal was thrashed out in March of last year after weeks of intense negotiations between Government and unions.

It promised not to hit state employees with any more pay cuts until 2014 if extensive reforms in work practices were implemented.

The agreement also committed both sides to a review on pay each spring and no compulsory redundancies as long as staff are flexible about transfers.

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