The Public Service Agreement, also known as The Croke Park Agreement, will ensure that the Irish Public Service continues its contribution to the return of economic growth and economic prosperity to Ireland, while delivering excellence in service to the Irish people. This will be done by working together to build an increasingly integrated Public Service which is leaner and more effective, and focussed more on the needs of the citizen. The Parties to this Agreement recognise that to achieve this, in the context of reduced resources and numbers, the Public Service will need to be re-organised and public bodies and individual public servants will have to increase their flexibility and mobility to work together across sectoral, organisational and professional boundaries. The Agreement can be viewed in full here
- Margaret McCabe
- Brian Murphy
- Victoria Farrington
- Alex Rogers
MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION
Following the receipt of approval to fill posts in the Mental Health Commission (Commission) contact was made with the Public Appointments Service (PAS) as the body charged with responsibility for establishing systems and processes for managing the redeployment of human resources between Public Service organisations.
The Commission has found the experience of this process to date to be very positive. A full exchange of information was facilitated in a timely and professional manner. Contact details were provided for any follow on queries that people might have and they were encouraged to pick up the phone if clarification was required.
As a result of engagement with PAS a number of posts have now been filled successfully. The approach taken by PAS and its willingness to engage with the Commission and the people in the redeployment pool has facilitated the successful outcome achieved.
AN BORD PLEANALA
The redeployment experience in An Bord Pleanála was initially an emotional journey of anger, hurt, and anxiety, because it was happening to the organisation in the first instance then concern that it was a procedure that had to be followed but would come to nothing and all staff would be still with the Bord at the end of the year. A number of presentations were made to staff about the processes involved and the Redeployment Liaison Officers were very available to all staff. An internal intranet page was also set up with relevant information available. The weakness in the process however was a lack of information in relation to what posts if any were available to staff or would become available. This was the most problematic issue, the uncertainty of posts coming in. However once the opportunities began to come through staff embraced the process and began volunteering. The anger and hurt changed to one of expectations of opportunities. The toolkit was helpful and PAS staff were very helpful and supportive throughout the process. The PAS staff were particularly patient and supportive at the beginning of the process when we were in constant contact with them.
Generally staff are happy with their new positions however those who ‘jumped’ quickly because of the uncertainty of positions becoming available are a little disappointed that they had not waited as perceived better opportunities became available later in the process. Some of those who did leave early would have found themselves in a LIFO situation should that have arisen – which it did not.
Redeployment would now I consider be seen as a positive prospect for staff however the organisation did in the end lose many senior EOs and COs with a lot of knowledge and skills, which is the downside. This arose because of the voluntary nature of the process. Also the turn-around time for the organisation was also quite quick and this is creating difficulties in relation to quickly adjusting to the gaps created and reorganising accordingly. I think again that arises from the uncertainty around knowing when and what posts are or will become available. Some of the participants also felt that the 5 day turnaround for making such a big decision was too short.
M.C. – redeployed to CORU
The job description was interesting...the role profile offered many new and interesting challenges. I was grateful to have had the experiences which provided me with the skills and in particular the confidence to apply for this post. The proximity of this new post to my home was an added bonus. The flexibility of the redeployment scheme made the transition very easy.
When re-deployment was introduced a number of posts became available throughout the Civil and Public Service. In the summer of 2011 a post in CORU became available. The job description was very interesting and together with the role profile offered many new and interesting challenges. I was very grateful to have had the experiences which provided me with the skills and in particular the confidence to apply for this post. The proximity of this new post to my home was also an added bonus.
It was difficult to leave a comfortable environment where I had interesting work and great colleagues but the flexibility of the re-deployment scheme made the transition very easy. Twelve months on I am settled in my new post but I have also remained in contact with staff from my previous employment.
Anon – redeployed to the Mental Health Commission
Once I decided to make the move my current office was in regular communication with the offices of my new chosen position and feedback was given to me on an ongoing basis.... On the whole I found the process to be smooth and handled at a high professional standard.
I first found out about the possibility of redeployment through a general circular emailed to all staff informing us of a pending evaluation of staff numbers. At the time, nothing concrete had been decided upon however staff were encouraged to consider the possibility of redeployment and to therefore consider their options and personal circumstances. Once an exact number of staff to be redeployed had been decided upon, a meeting was called for all staff to inform them of the current situation, this was then followed up by detailed emails of the redeployment process and some FAQ’s. We were encouraged at all times to discuss our options with senior management and HR. I found all involved to be very approachable.
Once I decided to make the move my current office was in regular communication with the offices of my new chosen position and feedback was given to me on an ongoing basis. I was also invited to the new office for an informal question and answer session in which I was given the chance to ask as many questions as I wanted. I was made to feel comfortable throughout. I was also given the number of a senior manager for any follow up questions. I was allowed time to make the appropriate decision.
On the whole I found the process to be smooth and handled at a high professional standard. Transparency was assured throughout and I found all involved to be receptive to questions.
Anon 2– redeployed to the Mental Health Commission
Through the Redeployment Scheme with PAS I was offered a place in my present position.... I chose this office as the work seemed something similar to the work I was carrying out in my old office.... I think it is a good idea to provide this service to existing staff wishing to transfer from other offices and to people coming back off career breaks. It means that the workforce may be dispersed to offices where new staff is required.
I recently started in the Public Service, having first worked in the Civil Service.
I had taken a 3 year career break and after it was over I was not required in my old department in the Civil Service.
Through the Redeployment Scheme with PAS I was offered a place in my present position. I was offered this office and also another position in another smaller office. I chose this office as the work seemed something similar to the work I was carrying out in my old office.
I am very pleased that I accepted this office. I like the work and the people here. It is very interesting work and I hope to learn a lot from working here.
When I came to this office for an informal interview, I was told that there was not much difference between the Civil Service and the Public Service. Any terms and conditions that I had in the Civil Service would be carried over with me.
However, I have to say that there are differences between the Public and Civil Services.
Offices in the Civil Service close at 5.15pm on Friday evenings, here it is 5.30pm.
One is only allowed to work up one day a month flexi compared to one and a half days in my old department in the Civil Service.
I have just learnt that Good Friday is not automatically classed as a Bank Holiday in this Public Service office and the office is open. This is not the case in any Civil Service office that I know of. Therefore it means one days less annual leave per year.
Before I started here I was told by my old Civil Service office and by HR here in the Public Service office that the Public Service and the Civil Service were merging by the end of this year. I do hope that this is still the case.
Apart from these differences I am very glad that I accepted the position in this office and wish to express my gratitude to PAS. I think it is a good idea to provide this service to existing staff wishing to transfer from other offices and to people coming back off career breaks. It means that the workforce may be dispersed to offices where new staff is required.