Problems with recruitment and retention in some public services, including health services, are part of a wider European trend. That’s according to the European Federation of Public Services Employees (EUROFEDOP).
At its Dublin seminar last week the federation said problems with recruitment and poor morale in State bodies is a Europe-wide problem created by individual governments’ efforts to reduce costs.
The federation represents workers in health services, security and military across Europe. Fórsa was represented at the Dublin seminar.
Norbert Schnedl, of the Austrian Public Service union, said the issue of retention has also been caused by the inability of States to compete with more attractive prospects in the private sector.
He said: “There is a need to increase salaries and to improve working conditions in the state organisations to compete. There needs to be hard work to find solutions with the different governments in all countries in Europe.”
The difficulties of recruitment and retention in Ireland are particularly prevalent in health services delivered by the Community and Voluntary sector, and funded by the HSE (Section 39, Section 56 and Section 10 employments).
Fórsa’s national executive last month backed a proposal for indefinite strike action in a number of community and voluntary sector agencies funded by the HSE. The union will cover the salaries of striking workers in the sector.
Community and voluntary sector employees in a range of health professional, clinical, clerical and administrative grades, are on lesser terms and conditions than their HSE counterparts.
Fórsa research has revealed that up to a third of experienced professional health and care staff are leaving their jobs in these agencies every year to take up better remunerated employment with the HSE and elsewhere.
Health minister Stephen Donnelly acknowledged in the Dáil last October that the Government is the ‘main and often sole funder’ of these organisations, and that its funding affects the ability of agencies to improve pay and conditions.
The union said the minister has failed to grasp the link between its chronic underfunding of the services and the subsequent failure to meet the HSE’s recruitment targets in disability and other funded services.
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