Public sector transition teams still not in place
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has admitted that the transition teams to oversee next month's public sector exodus are not yet in place.
Mr Kenny has confirmed that the high-level teams will not be formed until next week -- just 15 days before up to 8,000 staff members exit the sector.
The admission is in clear contrast to comments he made on radio last Sunday and has sparked fears that the mass exit will result in widespread chaos.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin accused the Taoiseach of failing to get to grips with the looming retirements.
He said that the transition teams were a "figment of his imagination" and "invented" by Mr Kenny on Sunday because it "sounded good".
"It would appear that those transitional teams are stable-door closing committees. This illustrates the mismatch between what is being said in the Dail and the reality on the ground," Mr Martin claimed.
Quizzed over the status of the transition teams just three weeks before the exodus is complete, Mr Kenny told the Dail that they would be "approved by next Tuesday".
On Sunday however, in an RTE radio interview, he suggested that the high-level teams were "in place" already.
He said that the exact numbers of those exiting the public sector would not be "crystallised until the last few days" and "the figures didn't really become clear until very recently".
"By next Tuesday the transition teams, and the way that they're going to manage the business in each sector, will be presented by the minister for public sector reform in a memo to Cabinet," he said.
The figures include 1,008 civil servants, 2,263 health workers, 2,000 in education, 859 in local authorities, 241 in the Defence Forces, and 297 gardai.
The Taoiseach told the Dail that five separate teams to oversee the transition would be set up in the areas of health, justice, local government, education and the civil service.
Referring specifically to hospitals, Independent TD for Dublin North Central Finian McGrath warned that an "emergency crisis" loomed as a result of the exits.