Fórsa is to ballot clerical and administrative grades (III to VI) in the child and family agency, Tusla, following the agency’s scrapping of an agreed job evaluation scheme for these grades. The scheme only re-opened in January 2020.
The union has also referred the matter to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
On 16th October Fórsa reported that Tusla had made a decision to temporarily suspend the scheme following an instruction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). However, the union received formal notification last week that the scheme has been suspended indefinitely.
The union will now proceed with a ballot for industrial action and has referred the matter to the WRC.
Fórsa official Chris Cully said Tusla and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth had agreed to effectively scrap the scheme because DPER said it was operating without sanction.
“The union will now proceed with our plans to ballot members for industrial action, and we have also referred the matter to the WRC. We have advised the employer that the union remains available for conciliation talks,” she said.
The job evaluation scheme is an acknowledged scheme within the health sector and is covered under the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA). The agreement requires management and unions to conclude arrangements on the conduct and scope of job evaluation in the health sector.
Chris said Tusla’s scrapping of the scheme contravenes the agency’s own commitment to staff who were assured that they would not be less favourably treated than HSE staff when they transferred to Tusla.
Ballot preparations are underway and Chris is advising members to ensure their contact details are up to date: “If members have changed employment or moved recently they should ensure the union has the most up to date contact details for them.
“The easiest way to do this is complete the ‘Update my contact details’ form on the union’s website. We’ll be making contact with branches and regions about ballot arrangements shortly,” she said.