The FGE branch of IMPACT has secured agreement on new measures to establish 430 members of the branch as officer grade civil servants by confined competition.
Subject to members having the standard criteria on service and suitability, they can now apply for establishment having completed one year of service, without interview or formal competition. The measures follow intensive negotiations over the past year between IMPACT’s FGE branch and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).
The negotiations were conducted by the FGE branch’s seconded officials Thomas Cowman and Eugene Dunne.
Thomas said the new competition model is a more functional appointment method. “It replaces an archaic and anachronistic model that has existed since 1956 and has moved the department into a position where it has devolved authority, to handle applications for establishment, to line departments at a local level in conjunction with Public Appointments Commission” he said.
The establishment of the existing 430 staff will have a significant effect on their pensions.
Eugene explained, “Depending on whether a person is employed pre or post-1995, there will be significant benefits in pensions. Non-established members, employed after 1995 and prior to the new single pension, will see an increase in gross pay of 5.21 per cent, which will feed into their final pension.”
Eugene added that those recruited after 2012, and subject to the single pension scheme, will also have the security of permanence in status equal to all officer grades. The branch is currently in discussions with DPER to have this competition annualised, given the criteria of the single pension scheme.
IMPACT national secretary Andy Pike said that the new measures were a welcome departure from the previous system, where sporadic competitions for establishment were agreed on a ‘grace and favour’ basis. He added “The branch has described the new approach as a more functional model and I think that’s a good way to describe it. Under this new model, the authority to handle applications for establishment is devolved locally, and provides a fairer approach for experienced staff.”
Both Eugene and Thomas said that this is a significant breakthrough in the area of establishment and includes a very large group of IMPACT members (430). The branch has advised that individual members check their circumstances with both their employer and the Department of Social Protection before taking up the offer.
Download DPER’s circular – Selection Process for Established Appointments to Certain Grades in the Civil Service (Confined)
For more news see IMPACT’s latest members’ ebulletin HERE, published 7th December 2015.