The HSE has agreed to meet Fórsa over its chief executive Paul Reid’s public statement on the need for “targeted” voluntary redundancies among “management” posts sometime next year.
This comes after the union wrote demanding that the agency conform to public service agreements. In a response to Fórsa’s head of health, Éamonn Donnelly, the HSE’s national director of human resources conceded that management would abide by its obligations to consult and engage with the union.
Éamonn acted on foot of an article in the Sunday Business Post, in which Reid said he was engaging yet more external consultants to look at HSE structures.
In his letter to Mr Reid, Éamonn pointed out that the union had always abided by public service agreements, which require employers to consult with staff representatives before imposing significant changes to working conditions.
He said he expected the HSE to do the same. ”By any measure, redundancies are significant, both for the ‘targeted’ staff and those left to take up the workload. Fórsa fully expects [the HSE] to conduct business that directly affects workers’ terms and conditions through agreed industrial relations processes,” he said.
The union offered to meet Mr Reid on the issue.“The last time the HSE offered voluntary redundancies, it was left with significant holes in corporate knowledge, including in key and senior roles. It then had to fill the gaps by hiring more managers.
“In his interview, Mr Reid put forward no evidence-based rationale for claiming there are too many managers and admin staff in this interview, and it’s disappointing to see the head of the organisation taking to the media to criticise staff in this way.
"And it’s certainly odd to read that the HSE has decided to pursue voluntary redundancies before it hires expensive external consultants to look, yet again, at ‘organisational design’,” said Éamonn.