A temporary pause on job evaluation applications has been lifted, as huge demand from health workers prompted an increase in the resources devoted to processing applications and undertaking evaluations.
The Job Evaluation Unit, which involves management and union reps, put the pause in place so it could catch up with a backlog. Now, applications are again being assigned to assessment teams.
Additional assessment teams are also being put in place to reduce waiting times, currently running at six to nine months. Hundreds of applications have already been assessed, many of which have resulted in an upgrading.
The Job Evaluation Unit also intends to develop an alert system to provide information on the status of applications. Fórsa head of health Éamonn Donnelly said he understood staff frustration at long waiting times, but said the high volume of applications was the cause.
“We’ve fielded a huge number of queries about tracking applications. Some were delayed because local management sign-off had not been completed. Applicants should check that sign-off has been completed before contacting the Job Evaluation Unit,” he said.
The reactivated job evaluation scheme for health service clerical, administrative and management staff opened last year on foot of the union’s campaign. An eight-year suspension of the scheme created a lot of pent-up demand from workers who took on substantial extra responsibilities as clerical and admin staff numbers fell dramatically during the crisis.
The scheme, which is open to clerical and administrative grades III to VI, and related grades, offers staff the prospect of an upgrading if their job roles and responsibilities are found to have increased sufficiently.