Fórsa has reached an agreement that will see 450 agency staff in Tusla moved onto fixed-term contracts. The deal covers about two-thirds of existing agency staff in the child and family agency, including social work, social care, family support and administrative grades.
A small number of the 450 – those covering for maternity leave – will be placed on specified-purpose contracts.
The union has also secured commitments that existing panels will not be affected, and that permanent posts will continue to be filled from existing panels.
Tusla has also agreed that, for admin grades, agency staff will only be deployed at entry level in future.
Fórsa official Chris Cully welcomed the outcome, but called for tighter controls on the future use of agency staff. “This is good news for 450 workers and their colleagues in Tusla. We now want to see an agreed protocol developed for future appointments,” she said.
The union also wants to see close monitoring of transfers and panel appointments to ensure that management follows through on assurances about avoiding existing staff displacement.
Tusla revealed that it currently deploys over 670 agency staff. The lions share are in social work and social care grades, though over 180 are in admin. Around 125 clerical officers are likely to be among those converted to temporary status.
This story was first published in the Fórsa members’ news bulletin (Health & Welfare edition) on Thursday 21st November 2019. Read the full edition here.