Civil Service Petition: Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2018




The Government is bringing in a law that will make it easier to fire civil servants.


We want to protect your jobs. Will you help us?


Dismissing a worker should not be easy or simple. Your livelihood should not be subjected to unfair practices, unsound decisions, or misplaced blame.


Government has introduced the Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Bill with the intention of simplifying the civil service disciplinary and dismissal procedures. There is a very real possibility that it will become easier for a manager to fire you and other civil service workers.


We are asking all civil service members to sign the linked petition to make it clear to the political system that this change will not be welcomed and is unnecessary.


Please follow link for petition HERE.


Fórsa joined a submission to the relevant Oireachtas Joint Committee stating that we were against this attempt to make it easier to dismiss civil service workers. Now, we want to send a clear message to Government that civil service workers are against the introduction of private sector dismissal practices into the civil service.


In particular, we believe that the authority to dismiss a civil servant should not be delegated below the level of Secretary General. It must be maintained at this level to ensure fairness and consistency of practice across the civil service.


In the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee that considered submissions on the Bill, it stated: “The purpose of this amendment Bill is to improve and simplify the management of performance in the civil service, to bring the management practices, specifically the disciplinary and dismissal procedures in the civil service more in line with other organisations.”


The report notes that the mechanism proposed to achieve this is to delegate the responsibility for dismissal decisions down from Secretary General to an unspecified lower grade. Fórsa disagrees that this will result in a simplified or efficient process.


Excluding unsuccessful probationary contracts, there were 97 people dismissed from the civil service between 2008 and 2016 (the last year when reliable figures were available). Fórsa does not believe it is reasonable to conclude that dismissals are happening at such a high rate that it needs to be further streamlined. Fórsa has stated that the act of dismissal is one of the most important decisions that an organisation can make. It is only right and appropriate that the final decision should be taken at an appropriately suitable grade.


Fórsa is troubled by a perception that the centralisation of the authority to dismiss is somehow a sign of inflexibility. The Joint Committee report paraphrases an OECD statement that centralised human resource management can “inhibit the autonomy of local level management”.


That this statement is used to justify the devolution of dismissal down from Secretary General is wrongheaded in the extreme.


Join Fórsa’s call. Sign our petition today.


The Joint Committee report, complete with submissions, can be found HERE.


Fórsa Civil Service Division



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