Fórsa officials say they are encouraged by the high number of applications to the reactivated job evaluation scheme for health service clerical, administrative and management staff, which opened last year on foot of the union’s campaign.
The union says the success rate has so far been high, although the waiting times for completion of the process is significant due to huge pent-up demand.
Fórsa official Stephen O’Neill said the eight-year suspension of the scheme led to a large backlog of existing and potential applications from workers who have taken on substantial extra responsibilities as clerical and admin staff numbers fell dramatically during the crisis.
“The waiting time for an evaluation is currently around six months or so, although well over half of cases completed so far have led to an upgrading. Neither of these things comes as a huge surprise given the freeze on promotion and recruitment over many years,” he said.
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.
Job evaluation allows the knowledge, skill and responsibilities associated with individual jobs – rather than grades or staff categories – to be assessed and appropriately rewarded. While a job evaluation doesn’t guarantee an upgrading, many health staff say their roles have grown considerably as they have taken on more work and responsibility over the years.