The government's agreement to maintain inflexible Celtic Tiger era civil service wages in the Croke Park Agreement (CPA) must have concerned the international bond trading desks deluged by Irish bond issues needed to pay those wages. The only redeeming feature of the CPA was the hope-likely forlorn in view of the experience with invisible Benchmarking productivity-that the civil service unions would allow swift interdepartmental reassignments of employees and managers to departments experiencing critical staff shortages through natural wastage from the ban on recruitment.
Before Croker,there were rows in the HSE about such reassignments,with staff refusing to supply top management with budget reports. Was there a happy conclusion to this dispute? Have all HSE staff ceded the right at the time of the HSE's creation to stay put even if there is no work for them due to consolidations or closures of services?
Tangible proof of productivity from the CPA is needed soon to bolster the credibility of the government's plans to stick to budgetary austerity without gutting government services.