Career progression for health service staff will be the top priority for Fórsa’s Health and Welfare Division in 2019, according to its national secretary Éamonn Donnelly.
In an interview for the union’s magazine, which will be in workplaces early in the New Year, he said this would entail protecting and extending the recently-won job evaluation scheme, while agreeing additional career progression paths for health and social care professionals.
The division’s elected executive also agreed to prioritise winning a staff transfer policy, with regional clerical and admin panels, when it met earlier this month to iron out its priorities for next year.
Meanwhile, the union will continue to push for the Public Service Pay Commission to start work on recruitment and retention issues for health and social care professional grades.
Éamonn also wants a more coordinated approach to hospital groups within the union, whose branch and regional structure is not aligned to new HSE hospital structures. And he said the executive wants to “take ownership” of strategy to increase union membership in Fórsa grades.
Above all, Éamonn said he was determined that the union would be leading debates about health service policy and development in hospitals, primary and community care, and prevention and health promotion.
“The public and political debate hardly ever moves beyond waiting lists and trolleys. Those issues are real, but they are symptoms of a much wider set of concerns and problems about capacity and investment right across the service, including in prevention and health promotion as well as primary and community services. Fórsa needs to be at the forefront of that debate,” he said.