HSE clerical and admin staff are set to begin industrial action in September.
Over 93% of Fórsa union members backed the action over the HSE’s decision to halt all recruitment of clerical and administration staff in July.
The union says the HSE is failing to invest in its own staff – and instead is increasingly relying on agency staff and external private consultants.
It claims this is costing the taxpayer three to four times more than if their own staff were to carry out the work.
Fórsa's National Secretary for Health and Welfare Ashley Connolly told Newstalk Breakfast that the policy must change.
“The HSE has been using external consultant and we believe they have failed to invest in their own staff over the last period of time,” she said.
“In fact, the use of external consultants is three to four times more expensive than the use of external employees.
“Now the HSE does suffer from recruitment and retention problems and our members are extremely fearful that this is privatisation by stealth – the outsourcing of their core work.”
The industrial action will see workers refusing to engage with all elements of the new regional health areas as part of the action.
Ms Connolly said the union remains open to engagement with the HSE.
“We believe that they have not put the programmes in in place in order to encourage staff within the clerical admin and managerial posts and that they are too quick to look to the private consultants in order to carry out work that can be easily carried out by our members,” she said.
“So yes, we do question this excessive spending on the use of consultants outside of the HSE.”
The industrial action will begin with:
- Non-cooperation with financial reporting
- Non-engagement in relation to all elements of the new regional health areas
- Non-cooperation with financial management systems
- Non-cooperation with any proposal on extending the working week
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