HSE recruitment pause will result in current staff carrying out extra work - Fórsa

Union members voted for industrial action following decision by HSE to pause recruitment of clerical and administrative staff

Fórsa’s National Secretary for Health and Welfare, Ashley Connolly, has said the decision to introduce a pause on recruitment for clerical, administration and managerial grades will mean vacant posts will not be filled and responsibility will fall on current staff to carry out the work of those roles.

Yesterday members of the union working in clerical and administrative roles in the Health Service Executive (HSE) voted for industrial action following a decision by the HSE to halt all recruitment of clerical and administrative staff.

About 12,000 clerical and administrative workers will take part in the industrial action.

Fórsa said 93 per cent of its members who participated in a ballot on the proposed industrial action voted in favour of it. The union said it had served three weeks’ notice of the action on the HSE.


Ms Connolly told Newstalk Breakfast that the pause on recruitment will have an impact on clinical teams because they will not have the necessary administrative support which is vital and crucial to the delivery of health services.

“It means their clinical time will now be taken up doing administrative functions and that is just not acceptable. The HSE is too quick to look to external private consultants to be able to deliver work that should be done in-house. And instead of addressing that overspend, what they have done is put in place a harsh recruitment pause on Fórsa members only.”

The HSE’s use of external consults at a cost of “hundreds of millions” was “reckless” and unnecessary, she said.

Fórsa members were “absolutely angry and they are feeling very undervalued as they play a crucial role”, she said.

“Some members working in the clerical mainstream, are the first person that you meet when you go into a hospital, they are the person that you ring when you need to get your consultant appointment or your X-ray appointment. They are crucial to the delivery of services and they cannot be dismissed as expendable,” Ms Connolly added.

She said the HSE should be engaging collectively with the group of trade unions to address these problems. She gave the example that if two people work in an office and one goes on maternity leave, that person will not be replaced and the remaining person will be expected to carry out their duties on top of their own.

“They are fed up with a system that looks to them to be scapegoated,” she added.

Vivienne Clarke

Vivienne Clarke is a reporter