Clerical Admin/ Managerial Grades
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.
We are advising members across clerical and management administrative grades that industrial action in the form of a work to rule will commence, as of normal starting time, on Monday 4th September 2023, and continue until further notice. This follows a secret ballot of members which returned a 93% vote in favour of taking industrial action.
The Divisional Executive Committee has established a dispute committee to oversee the industrial action.
Recent memos issued by the Head of Acute Services and the CEO of the HSE instructed all managers throughout the HSE and Section 38s to pause recruitment across the managerial/administration grades. On 24 July management escalated this further and put in place a full recruitment pause from Grade III and above. They have stated this was due to their concerns over the number of clerical admin / managerial grades recruited in the last six months. Yet again the HSE is targeting clerical admin grades – no other grade or category across the HSE will suffer these arbitrary measures.
In addition, Fórsa has been raising serious concerns in recent months with HSE senior management over their failure to adhere to our collective agreements on the filling of promotional positions. We have also raised with management their over reliance on agency workers and external private consultants.
In light of these developments a ballot was called, and members voted in favour of industrial action. For more information on the background of this dispute see here.
All Clerical Admin/Managerial Members of Fórsa working in the health service (HSE, Public Voluntary hospitals, Disability and Other Specialist Health Agencies).
The industrial action will commence at each member’s normal starting time on Monday 4th September 2023 and continue until further notice.
The industrial action takes the form of a work to rule instruction set out below.
Members are instructed to:
• Not undertake tasks, functions or responsibilities associated with any vacant post.
• Not carry out the duties of a higher grade and strictly adhere to the rules and procedures governing your post.
• Boycott all engagement in relation to HSE Health Regions also known as Regional Health Areas.
• Not engage or attend any working groups, planning, restructuring, consultation, scoping, discussion meetings / forums in relation to all change programs underway across the HSE and / or Section 38’s. (e.g. RHA’s, HSPA, NiSRP)
• Not engage or participate in any meetings in relation to the further roll out of the IFMS change program including the roll out of implementation group 2, 3, 4 and 5.
• Not 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)
• Not engage with Finance and HR Information processes (this includes non-engagement in online forums and / or teleconference in relation to same)
• Not cooperate with regulatory bodies e.g., HIQA.
• Withdrawal from all national committees.
• Not engage with, meet, report to, or provide any information to external private consultants or HSE advisors.
• Not participate or engage with performance achievement / management.
• Not engage with all political forums and / or processes (PQ’s etc).
• Not engage with any proposals in relation to the extended working week.
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.
I am in receipt of a temporary higher appointment, should I continue to carry out the duties of a higher grade?
If in receipt of a temporary higher appointment you should continue to carry out the role and responsibilities associated with your temporary higher appointment post except for those elements of your role which are in the list of actions above.
If you are not in receipt of a temporary higher appointment then you should not carry out the role, responsibilities, functions, or procedures of a post of a higher grade.
Members are instructed to boycott and disengage from all change programmes across the HSE and Section 38 organisation unless a derogation has been granted to the employer. Management have been asked to identify any areas that may impact on emergency services and / or patient care and these will be considered by the National Dispute Committee of the Divisional Executive.
I work in the Eastern Region. Should I continue to operate, engage or participate in any meetings in relation to the further roll out of the IFMS change program? (This includes the roll out of implementation group 2, 3, 4 and 5).
In the eastern region where IFMS has been implemented members should continue to carry out their roles and functions.
There should be no cooperation or engagement in relation to the further roll out of this program. In the Eastern Region and / or in other regions members are not to cooperate with any external agency in relation to IFMS workload.
Members whose main duty and responsibility is to collect and process data will continue to perform this duty, however, they should not be passing it on for central HSE reporting purposes until the industrial action is stood down.
If I am asked to provide information in relation to, for example, KPI’s, A&E Stats, delayed discharges, monthly activities etc. what should I do?
The HSE has been informed that if they require this information, they must write directly to Fórsa stating the reasons for this information and we will consider this. Unless we provide a derogation, members are not to process this information.
The HSE has been informed of the process to seek derogation and should not pressure individuals involved in the industrial action to provide this. You should contact your local union representative in the first instance if you experience this.
I work in Finance and HR, what does the instruction mean in relation to the non-processing of information?
It is agreed that staff will process all statutory/legal data to the relevant authority, e.g., enquiries from Irish Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Board Ireland, CORU, etc.
HR and Finance processing in relation to payroll returns, absence recording (for payroll purposes only) and recruitment set-ups should continue.
Members have been instructed to withdraw from all national committees. Should your manager require your attendance they must seek a derogation from the union dispute committee. Unless this is provided you should not attend.
I have been asked by my manager to engage with an external private consultant or a HSE advisor, what should I do?
Members are being instructed not to engage, report to, meet or provide any information to external private management consultants or HSE advisors (this does not mean medical consultants).
The only exception to this instruction is where a third party has been agreed with Fórsa then our cooperation should continue (e.g. Trust in Care investigations, grievances etc). If you are unsure about whether to engage with someone, please seek advice from your local union representative before proceeding.
My performance achievement / management meeting has been scheduled after the 4th September 2023, what should I do?
Members are advised not to attend or participate in performance achievement / management meetings or preparatory work for these meetings.
If I am asked to prepare work for political forums and / or collate responses to parliamentary questions, what should I do?
We have agreed with the HSE that members should continue to collate and prepare responses to Parliamentary Questions but have confirmed that these will not be submitted by our members 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 your rights. 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 must 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Limerick 061 319 177 email@example.com
• Galway 091 778 031 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Sligo 071 914 2400 email@example.com
• Dublin Head Office: 01 8171500 firstname.lastname@example.org