Section 39 audit complete
by Bernard Harbor

Fórsa is still awaiting publication of the HSE audit of section 39 organisations after the prestigious journal Industrial Relations News reported last week that it was completed and ready for submission to the health department.  The review was established to assess pay restoration claims across the voluntary sector.


Under an agreement thrashed out in the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in February, management and unions will return to the WRC to assess how the audit findings can be addressed and implemented.


Slow progress on pay restoration in section 39s had earlier prompted Fórsa to sanction ballots in agencies that were largely funded by the exchequer, and which were deemed capable of funding pay restoration.


The union lifted the immediate threat of industrial action after the Department of Health made a commitment that the HSE would bring forward a review of pay policy in section 39s. The review is an evidence-gathering exercise to establish which agencies cut pay during the crisis, and which have since begun to restore incomes.


The HSE review covers publicly-funded organisations with “sizable staffing.” It is also considering the financial implications of adjusting pay in each organisation, taking account of all sources of funding. In the review, the HSE is to:


• Establish whether, when, and to what extent pay cuts were applied during the crisis in each relevant organisation
• Establish whether, when, and to what extent pay restoration has happened
• Identify, with appropriate supporting evidence, the financial implications for each organisation, taking account of all sources of funding
• Propose an appropriate plan for phased resolution in each case.

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