STAFF at Limerick City Council work an average of 34.17 hours a week, a new survey has shown.
Despite last year’s deadline forcing public service workers to increase their hours under the Croke Park agreement, staff based in City Hall are still working less than 35 hours a week, according to a survey commissioned by the Irish Independent.
In comparison, staff in the private sector work a 39-hour week.
There are around 400 staff still working at City Hall.
However, Diarmuid Scully, the leader of Fine Gael, the largest party on the council, said the survey does not take everything into consideration.
“Staff at this level would attend council meetings for which they are not paid, which normally take at least two hours. They would also attend special policy committee meetings each quarter too. So they would always make up that extra time very quickly,” he explained.
The issue has once again brought the Croke Park deal back to the forefront, as Taoiseach Enda Kenny threatened to look at the pay side of things.
Cllr Scully does not think the deal will hit its targets.
“It unduly affects staff at the lower level. People not well paid are taking very big hits, but at the same time we have staff in the public sector who are well paid at the high level. There is too much protection for the highly-paid, and not enough protection for the lower-paid,” he said.
Meanwhile, staff at County Hall in Dooradoyle, according to the survey, are working an average of just 33 hours a week.
In neighbouring Co Clare, the survey shows staff are also working just 33 hours each week on average.
This figure is shared by Meath County Council and Galway City Council. At Galway County Council, the figure is even lower with staff working 32.92 hours a week.
The busiest staff were in counties Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon.