Fórsa is to continue talks with the HSE on the issue of career progression for social workers following discussions last week to pause existing appointments to senior practitioner grade, under the HSCP career pathway process.
The union sought the pause, and further talks, because Fórsa believes the appropriate grade to which social workers should be converted, following five years’ validated competent service, is team leader or senior social worker (medical).
The union had been made aware that local management in some CHOs have been proceeding to appoint or upgrade social workers to the grade of senior practitioner, which Fórsa has not agreed to.
In a memo to social worker members issued on Wednesday (10th November), Fórsa official Chris Cully said that, in many cases, contracts had been issued for signing, despite the fact that talks were still ongoing.
Fórsa’s position on the appropriate grade is quite clear, and we have asked the HSE to inform all CHOs to pause any conversions underway, and to further advise them that the grade issue is still under discussion and not yet agreed.
“Fórsa’s position on the appropriate grade is quite clear, and we have asked the HSE to inform all CHOs to pause any conversions underway, and to further advise them that the grade issue is still under discussion and not yet agreed,” she said.
Chris added that HSE management agreed last week to pause the social work grade progression pending further discussion and agreement with Fórsa, and to inform all CHOs of this. She has further advised affected social worker members not to sign contracts.
“I’m aware that a lot of members have approached the union seeking advice on this. Fórsa is determined to achieve a better outcome for our social worker members, and we remain focused on this, and we’ll continue to keep members appraised of progress,” she said.
Representing over 30,000 health workers including health and social care professionals, clerical, administrative, management and technical staff.
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