Fórsa has rejected a management denial of recruitment and retention difficulties in Ireland’s health and social care professions (HSCP). This followed publication of the final report of the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC), which said health sector management insisted there were no difficulties in recruiting and retaining the health professional staff it examined.
Éamonn Donnelly, Fórsa’s head of health, responded by saying the PSPC had itself listed certain HSCP grades as experiencing the biggest retention issues in the health sector, with the exception of medical consultants.
And he said unions and public service management were currently in talks about the implications for grades, groups and categories that were not considered by the PSPC, or didn’t benefit from its recommendations.
The final PSPC report called for the reintroduction of a review body to examine pay for senior civil and public servants. In its report, published last week, the commission said the existing ad-hoc approach to top-level staff in State organisations was neither desirable nor sustainable.
But Fórsa responded by saying this approach should not be confined to top earners.
The PSPC report said a top-level review body was necessary to examine remuneration of senior posts, “given the complexity and variety of posts under discussion, as well as the range of issues affecting them.”
Fórsa general secretary Kevin Callinan said the body was essentially calling for a return to the traditional approach to senior public service pay, which was interrupted by the abolition of a pay review body during the economic crisis.
“Historically, an objective evidence-based assessment process informed pay policy for senior public service grades up until 2009. I believe this approach should not be confined to senior posts. It’s needed for all grades covered by public service agreements as part of a new social dialogue structure,” he said.
Kevin added that the report marked the end of the PSPC’s mandate under the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA). Fórsa and other public service unions are currently in talks with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform aimed at establishing arrangements for the examination of pay and conditions for all grades.