Fórsa and other civil service unions have demanded a meeting with the Civil Service Management Board, which is made up of departmental secretaries-general, to seek an urgent resolution of problems with the PeoplePoint system.
The union says salary underpayments and overpayments caused by the HR package are hurting public servants, while delays in processing leave, flexi time, sick leave, and pensions are endemic.
Fórsa general secretary Tom Geraghty said the union had asked branches to raise problems associated with PeoplePoint at departmental councils. Members are also being encouraged to use the PeoplePoint complaints procedure, which enables them to raise issues with management directly.
The issue of overpayments hit the headlines last week when the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee quizzed representatives of the National Shared Services Office, which runs PeoplePoint. But Geraghty expressed concern that equally problematic underpayments had not been discussed.
“The problem of overpayments has reached epidemic proportions under PeoplePoint. It has caused great suffering to many civil servants, often in vulnerable financial circumstances, who have to repay money they do not have. The extensive underpayments and unprecedented delays in paying people their correct salary once they are appointed or promoted is equally problematic. It’s difficult to identify a single aspect of PeoplePoint activity that has not given rise to problems,” he said.
Tom said staff trying to operate the “inoperable” system were unfairly under excessive pressure.
Fórsa attends monthly meetings with PeoplePoint officials to go through cases where problems have occurred. But Tom says few civil servants use the complaints procedures. “This means management can dismiss complaints of systemic failure as anecdotal, rather than fact-based,” he said.
To help counter this, the union is to conduct a survey on members’ experience of the system.