FAQs – Career Pathway Review Dispute: Industrial Action

Please note this is a live document and will be updated as further FAQs arise.

Last updated: 30th August 2023

NOTE: Industrial action has been suspended. Please check your emails for more information, or reach out to local workplace representative or branch. Updates will be sent out over the coming period.

Industrial Action

We are advising members of the intention to commence a work to rule on Monday 11th September, following a secret ballot where 93.5% of members voted in favour of industrial action.

All members in the eight professions balloted (Dietitians, Orthoptics, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Social Work and Social Care Work) working in the HSE and section 38 organisations are instructed that as of normal starting time on Monday 11th September 2023 a work to rule will commence until further notice.

The industrial action will commence at each member’s normal starting time on Monday 11th September 2023 and continue until further notice.

All Fórsa members working in the following 8 professions:

Dietitians; Physiotherapy; Orthoptics Speech and Language Therapy; Occupational Therapy Social Work; Podiatry; Social Care Work;

who are employed in the HSE / Section 38 organisations. This includes staff grades, seniors, clinical specialists, practise education tutors and discipline managers.

Members who are employed by the HSE / Section 38 organisation must follow the instruction. The relevant lead agencies have been advised of the instruction.
Members who are employed directly by a Section 39 agency are not required to follow the instruction as they are not part of this dispute. However, it is important that members employed by the Section 39 organisation do not take on the duties associated with the industrial action.

No. Therapy assistants are represented by SIPTU and are not involved in this dispute.

The industrial action takes the form of a work to rule instruction.

Members are instructed to:

• Withdraw from all co-operation with third level student placements and education. This includes but is not limited to supervision of student placements, provision of guest lectures, engagement with research projects.
• Withdraw from all engagement and discussions in relation to ongoing change management programmes across all care areas. This includes but is not limited to any working groups, planning meetings, restructuring proposals, consultation meetings, scoping exercises, discussion meetings / forums/ surveys etc – whether online or in person.
• Boycott all engagement in relation to HSE Health Regions (also known as Regional Health Areas).
• Boycott all engagement and discussions related to 7/7 working week / weekend working / extended day working.
• Decline to undertake tasks, functions or responsibilities associated with any vacant post.
• Decline to carry out the duties of a higher grade and strictly adhere to the rules and procedures governing your post.
• Withdraw from all national committees, advisory groups etc and decline to attend any meetings whether online or in person.
• Decline to return national information / data returns e.g., KPI’s, A&E Stats, delayed discharges, monthly activities etc. This includes non-engagement in online forums and / or teleconference in relation to same.
• Decline to participate or engage with performance achievement / management.
• Decline to engage with all political forums and / or processes (PQ’s etc)

Scenario 1:
I am a practice education tutor directly employed by a Higher Education Institute – this is a separate contract of employment, and the instruction does not apply. However, if you concurrently hold a second position with the HSE, the instruction applies to your work in the HSE/Section 38 organisation.

Scenario 2:
I am a practice education tutor directly employed by the HSE in one of the 8 professions - the work to rule instruction applies to your role.

It is the HSE’s responsibility to contact the relevant Higher Education Institutes and advise them of the industrial action and any contingency plans they have developed.

Fórsa have already notified the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) of the dispute and will communicate closely with them throughout this industrial action. The USI have indicated their support for the industrial action.

Yes – Fórsa has notified the HSE Staff Panel of Trade Unions.

There are multiple different change programmes at varying stages of conception/implementation across the health sector. The instruction encompasses all change programmes and initiatives. From Monday 11 September members should not engage in any meetings that would seek to further embed existing change programmes or engage in any discussions that would lead to new change programmes being implemented.

Members working in the CHN /CDNT Model are still expected to report to the relevant Network Manager / CDNM respectively for everyday operational issues.

Members should provide support and cover as normal when a colleague is on annual leave and / or short-term sick leave.

No cover is to be provided for a post that remains vacant e.g. cover for maternity leave, retirement, career breaks.

Yes – you should continue to compile all statistics related to your work. However as per the instruction you should not return any of these statistics to your management team, submit them on any online system or verbally report them at a meeting.

No – you should still complete timesheets as normal.

No. As a member of the HSE management grades, you will need to become familiar with the instruction that the Health and Welfare Divisional Executive Committee has issued in relation to a separate dispute. This is available from your local branch and on the main Fórsa website.

No. As a member of the HSE management grades, you will need to become familiar with the instruction that the Health and Welfare Divisional Executive Committee has issued in relation to a separate dispute. This is available from your local branch and on the main Fórsa website.

This does not apply where you are formally seconded to a Section 39 Lead Agency.

Members are advised not to attend or participate in performance achievement/ management meetings or preparatory work for these meetings.

We have agreed with the HSE that members should continue to collate and prepare responses to Parliamentary Questions and confirmed that these will not be passed on until the industrial action is lifted.

Members should not engage in any discussions relating to a 7-day working week whilst under this union instruction.

The HSE has stated they will be writing to the unions to discuss proposals for extended working weeks and whilst we are under this union instruction we will not be engaging.

List of Section 38 agencies

1. Dublin Dental Hospital
2. Leopardstown Park Hospital
3. Royal Hospital, Donnybrook
4. Peamount Hospital Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital
5. St Vincent's, Fairview
6. Our Lady's Hospital,
7. Crumlin Temple Street Hospital
8. Coombe Women's Hospital
9. Rotunda Hospital
10. National Maternity Hospital
11. St James' Hospital
12. Mater Hospital
13. Beaumont Hospital
14. St Vincent's University Hospital
15. Tallaght Hospital
16. St Luke's Hospital, Rathgar
17. Cappagh National Orthopaedic
18. St Michael Hospital, Dun Laoghaire
19. Royal Eye & Ear Hospital
20. National Rehabilitation Hospital
21. St John Gods - Multiple
22. Brothers of Charity Ireland - Multiple
23. Avista - Multiple
24. Cope Foundation
25. Carriglea Cairde Services
26. Aurora (St Patrick's Kilkenny)
27. Children's Sunshine Home(LauraLynn)
28. Cheeverstown House
29. Kare, Newbridge
30. Stewarts Hospital, Palmerstown
31. Muirosa Foundation (Sisters of Charity)
32. Sunbeam House Services
33. Our Ladys Hospice Harolds Cross
34. Central remedial clinic (CRC)
35. St Michaels House
36. Mercy University Hospital
37. Portiuncula University Hospital (HSE)
38. South Infirmary/Victoria Hospital

Have you thought about joining the union?  Your colleagues are fighting hard for all HSCP in the 8 professions to have meaningful career pathways and promotional opportunities. The more people who join, the more strength we have. It’s never been easier to join Fórsa.

Once your membership has been ratified, you are required to follow the work to rule instruction.

You should contact your local branch. If you are unsure of who to contact please contact your closest Fórsa office:

• Cork 021 4255 210 forsacork@forsa.ie

• Limerick 061 319 177 forsalimerick@forsa.ie

• Galway 091 778 031 forsagalway@forsa.ie

• Sligo 071 914 2400 forsasligo@forsa.ie

• Dublin Head Office: 01 8171500 healthandwelfareinfo@forsa.ie


There’s never been a better time to join a union, and it’s never been easier. Join Fórsa today.