Important notice: Union instruction regarding industrial action

For the attention of all union members in Tusla Child & Family Agency


Dear members,


Industrial action by clerical and admin Fórsa members employed by Tusla in Grades III to VI will begin on Wednesday 25th of October 2023. The dispute arises from a withdrawal by your employer from the Job Evaluation scheme (JES) which is a protected term and condition of employment under the 2013 Framework agreement. This 2013 agreement was signed upon transfer of staff from then HSE to Tusla. It guarantees protection of all terms and conditions of employment and the transfer of all existing collective agreements for all staff. The job evaluation scheme is one such agreement.  


This dispute, whilst it centres around your employer’s withdrawal from the JES, isn't only about Job Evaluation. It is more fundamental than that.


This is about defending and protecting the integrity of your terms and conditions of employment - as agreed under the 2013 Framework Agreement. If they can take away one part without the agreement of one group of workers, they can take away any part of it. From any of you.


These are hard-fought for protections, so let’s stick together and protect everyone’s rights!


Despite every effort by Fórsa to engage openly with Tusla, DCEDIY and DPER in an effort to resolve this issue, our members are now forced into industrial action in the form of a ‘work to rule’. Your employer’s position to date is that it is prevented by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), who will not give sanction to the scheme. The union has repeatedly argued that sanction from DPER is not a requirement because the 2013 Framework Agreement protected your terms and conditions of employment including the retention of all collective agreements. 


Please support your colleagues in their industrial action, and don’t undertake any work that could undermine their industrial action, detailed below.


From the 25th of October, Fórsa clerical and admin members in Grades III to VI are instructed to:

  • Not carry out the work of other colleagues in their absence
  • Not carry out the work of any vacant post irrespective of length of time vacant or the reason for the vacancy
  • Not carry out the work of a post of a higher grade (unless being remunerated for same)
  • Not formulate, generate or submit management reports such as, reports for board meetings, government departments, management meetings, statistical information, financial reports, KPI’s, etc.
  • Not carry out the work associated with parliamentary questions
  • Not carry out work associated with FoI requests
  • Not participate in or support the work associated with the Tusla Reform Programme, this includes not organising meetings, attending meetings, recording and/or circulating minutes, agenda, documents or reports for any such meetings
  • Not provide lunch time cover at reception desks between the hours of 1pm and 2pm.


What does this mean for all other union members in Tusla?


As from normal starting time on Wednesday 25th October 2023, all Fórsa members not directly involved in the industrial action at this time are instructed by Fórsa that they must not to carry out the work of colleagues who are in dispute.  


I know that many of you may not have been involved in industrial action previously or worked alongside other colleagues engaged industrial action and you may have queries. You should contact your local union representative or union official in the first instance if you need support or clarification on any issues arising. Your employer has been notified of this instruction.  


How did this happen?


See the FAQ here for more information on the background to this dispute, and also for contacts for any queries you might have. 


97.7% of your Fórsa member colleagues voted in favour of this industrial action, up to and including full strike action if necessary. Together, we will win this, so please support your colleagues!


In solidarity,


Chris Cully, Assistant General Secretary 

Fórsa Health & Welfare Division

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