Career pathway dispute – industrial action suspended

Career Pathway

Fórsa has agreed to suspend the planned industrial action for 8 Health and Social Care Professionals cohorts (HSCPs) following progress at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

The industrial action was due to commence at each member’s normal starting time on Monday 11th September 2023.

Consequently, the work to rule instruction previously circulated is now suspended. Fórsa has formally notified the employers accordingly.

The industrial action has been backed by 93.5% of members in a union ballot, which covered eight professions (Dietitians, Orthoptics, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Social Work and Social Care Work) working across the HSE and section 38 organisations.

Over the last fortnight, the union has been engaged in extensive negotiations with the HSE at the WRC in a bid to find a resolution to the dispute and on Monday 4th September, the commission requested suspension of the industrial action considering the progress made in discussions.

The disputes committee of the Health and Welfare Divisional Executive subsequently considered the document provided by the commission and agreed that the contents of the document represent sufficient progress at this stage to suspend the industrial action and allow the parties to engage further.

Fórsa members working in eight health and social care professions (HSCP) in the HSE and Section 38 organisations had recently backed the industrial action ballot amid the career pathway review dispute.

Fórsa said the industrial action was a result of nearly five years without the implementation of a career pathway review and no meaningful discussions on clinical specialisms, advanced practise & management roles

National secretary Linda Kelly said “There is still a road to travel on the Career Pathway Review process for our members. While progress made in the last fortnight is welcome, the proof will be in the proverbial pudding. We have made clear to the employer, that if the timelines agreed at the WRC are not honoured, the executive will consider its position on the suspension of Industrial Action”.

Ms Kelly continued “Health and Social Care Professionals are a critical clinical staff group within the Health Service and central to the success of Sláintecare. Investment in career progression and promotional opportunities for our members is a necessity if the ambitious change programme set out by the HSE and Government is to be realised.”

If members have questions concerning recent developments in this dispute they should contact their local branch or email