Fórsa assures SNAs over Garda vetting

Fórsa’s head of education Andy Pike has tonight (Friday) issued a special bulletin to special needs assistant (SNA) members following concerns raised about the completion of Garda vetting forms under the scheme to temporarily reassign public service staff in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

As part of the Government mobilisation against Covid-19 all SNAs have been asked to fill in a survey form sent to them by the Public Appointments Service (PAS). The next phase of the process is that staff must be Garda vetted, this is being carried out by a recruitment agency called TTM. Garda vetting forms have been sent out to SNAs for completion.

SNAs raised concerns when the vetting forms issued by TTN indicate that they are being vetted to work as healthcare assistants.

Andy’s message to SNA members tonight is that this appears to be an administrative measure and does not signify an intention to actually reassign SNAs as healthcare assistants.

Fórsa has been in contact with Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE this evening to request that clarification is sent out to all SNAs who received their Garda vetting form that there is no intention to reassign them as healthcare assistants. Mr Reid has committed to working with Fórsa over the weekend to provide clarification on Monday (6th April).

The HSE is looking into the matter and should provide clarification on Monday to Fórsa and to SNAs directly.

Andy emphasised that if SNAs were to be asked to work as healthcare assistants Fórsa will intervene to call a halt to this process: “Whilst every SNA is willing to play a part in the Covid-19 effort, we will ensure that our members are not reassigned into jobs for which they are not qualified and not trained. We have given members that very clear commitment and we will stand over it.”

Read Andy’s full message HERE.