Frustrating delays caused by pent-up demand for the recently-reinstated health service job evaluations should not obscure the fact that the resumption of the scheme was a major victory for workers, according to Fórsa Head of Health Éamonn Donnelly.
Speaking to delegates at the union’s Health Division conference last week, he said over 500 evaluations had taken place, and that the majority had led to jobs being upgraded.
The conference passed a motion from the South Tipperary branch, which called on the union to complain to the HSE and health department about the delays.
Divisional chair Martin Wall told delegates that the reinstatement of the scheme for clerical and administrative staff – which was later extended to staff in Tusla – was a massive achievement for the union, which had become a benchmark for other Fórsa divisions.
“Hundreds of assessments have been carried out so far, and a substantial proportion has led to regradings, mainly because health workers put their shoulder to the wheel during the crisis years, and took on additional responsibilities even after their pay was cut.
I fully acknowledge the frustration of members on the wrong end of the current backlog of assessments. We know that this is a result of pent-up demand from the long years the scheme was on hold. And the union has done all it can to get additional teams of trained assessors in place to deal with the problem.
“I can only ask branches to recognise the significance of what’s been achieved, and to ask members for patience and tolerance as we navigate these ‘speed bumps’ on a long road that’s taking us to a much better place,” he said.