The only sure event on the horizon is the publication of the Hunt report.
“The Labour Court issued a “supplemental” recommendation this week to the HSE and IMPACT, over the status of the 2004 Framework Agreement in the health service if the Croke Park deal is ratified.
The supplemental recommendation asserts that following ratification of the Croke Park deal, the parties should re-engage at the LRC in order to revise the Framework Agreement.
Until this is completed, the provisions of the Framework Agreement will not “limit the application or effectiveness” of the Croke Park deal and the provisions of Croke Park “will take precedence” in the event of any “conflict or inconsistency”.”
On the 24th of May The Labour Court issued a supplemental recommendation (For Complete Labour Court Adjudication on Frame Work Agreement Click Here) in relation to the Framework Agreement under which staff were transferred from the employment of Health Boards to the HSE
Members of IMPACT were not informed by IMPACT Head Office until May 31
Huge numbers of IMPACT voted without this vital information
The supplemental recommendation by the Labour court has effectively abolished all the main protections for Staff in the Framework Agreement
The second supplemental recommendation of the Labour Court says referring to the Framework Agreement:
Clearly, any implication that the content of the Framework Agreement was “timeless” and would remain unchanged if the Croke Park Agreement were accepted was completely misleading.
There is an unanswerable case for the halting of the current IMPACT ballot and the holding of a new ballot in the context of the second or supplemental Labour Court recommendation.
The Section of the New Impact Vote No Leaflet (posted on this blog) dealing with HSE staff has been proved to be completely correct
It is, of course, true that The Croke Park Deal will over-ride contracts in the Local Authority Service, in the core Civil Service and elsewhere in the public service.
The Labour Court supplemental recommendation in relation to the HSE makes this explicit and definite.
It is regrettable that all IMPACT members were not in possession of this information when voting.
Staff in Health Services
THE LABOUR COURT CONFIRMED THAT THE HSE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT STILL EXISTS NOW BUT “YES” TO THE DEAL Will REMOVE MOST KEY PROTECTIONS IN THE AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH HSE STAFF WERE TRANSFERRED FROM THE OLD REGIONAL HEALTH BOARDS.
IMPACT leadership has accepted the Labour Court Recommendation which confirms this. Any suggestion that because the FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT is “timeless” ,it will not be changed by the Croke Park Deal, is entirely false.
Ten clauses which the Labour Court ordered to be changed to come into line with Croke Park Deal include
- Appointment and Promotion
- Common Recruitment Pool
- Reporting Relations
The national executive had changed its recommendation to “yes” even before talks had started and began the ballot before talks had ended!
All IMPACT members are being asked to vote yes to changes that will only become fully clear afterwards. Members in HSE are being asked to vote yes before the elimination of key protections in the Framework Agreement and in their employment contracts is finalised. Acceptance of the Croke Park Deal would give the green light to government to eliminate the protections for staff contained in the legislation setting up the HSE(Section 60,Health Act, 2004).
Disagreement in the talks will be resolved by a final or binding adjudication by the Labour Court without a further hearing. The criteria for the adjudication are whether the changes bring the Framework into line with the Croke Park Deal.
WORSENING OF CONDITIONS:
Following a “yes” vote, further talks would take place to bring conditions of service in HSE into line with common conditions across the public service . The Labour Court has ordered that common conditions be imposed on all staff in the Public Health Service who pay the pension levy and are subject to the pay cut. This includes staff employed in voluntary hospitals and HSE funded agencies. As the Deal is designed to achieve savings, the worst conditions are likely to be imposed.
A “YES” vote would effectively remove all special protections for HSE staff in the Framework Agreement, in individual employment contracts of staff already transferred to HSE from Health Bords and in Section 60, Health Act, 2004.
Reorganisation in Health Services
“(a) providing, across all settings, planned services over an extended (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) day on a Monday to Friday basis and/or five over seven day basis, while also providing emergency services on a 24-hour 7-day basis, thereby reducing the staffing and other resources required at nights and weekends;” (Health Services Sectoral Agreement) The key sentence here is that the arrangement must “reduce staffing resources required”.
This can only be done by reducing income and imposing unsocial working, and all in the context of the pay cut imposed in the last budget !
“ClARIFICATION” CONTAINS SIMPLY THE PROMISES OF A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS BROKEN ALL KEY AGREEMENTS WITH IMPACT ON PAY AND STAFFING. IT DOES NOT CHANGE THE DEAL— YOU ARE VOTING ON THE DEAL ONLY
THE CROKE PARK DEAL UNDERMINES PAY, PERMANENCY, PENSIONS AND PROMOTIONAL PROSPECTS in Local Authorities, Core Civil Service, Education and the Health Services. All existing contracts would be over-ridden by the Deal. For effects on staff transferred from old regional health boards to HSE, see overleaf.
BINDING ARBITRATION Ultimately, the resolution of all disputes about the DEAL will be resolved by “final” or binding arbitration by the Labour Court. This means that the union will be unable to prevent changes being imposed on members against their wishes if there is a “yes” vote.
PAY and Pension
The Deal provides for a four year pay and pensions freeze regardless of price rises A severe bout of inflation would severely reduce the value of pay and pensions There is no guarantee against further pay reductions or of restoration of the pay cut Conditions of Service will already have been devastated before the government is required to decide whether to use the escape clause under the “clarification” of the Deal.
has been accepted by IMPACT/ICTU leaderships and the remaining staff will carry out the extra work. Dismissal of Temporary Staff will continue. The statement in the “clarification” that the staffing moratorium is “independent” of the deal is pure posturing on both sides with no effect . REDEPLOYMENTto posts across the public service and beyond the 45km guideline and even to posts outside a profession is in the DEAL. Compulsory Redundancy is accepted by public service unions for permanent and CID staff for the first time, if the employee cannot accept redeployment.
Promotion–Extract from general Public Service Proposals-: “The parties agree that, — skilled personnel from outside the Public Service will be recruited to secure scarce and needed skills at all levels. Merit-based, competitive promotion policies will be the norm. — with promotion and incremental progression linked in all cases to performance”.All existing promotional arrangements will have to be brought into line with the above. Promotional opportunities for internal staff will be reduced . Individual Performance Management Development Systems will be applied everywhere. Increments are awarded currently unless management specifically objects in the case of an individual This will now change and your assessing superior will be in a position to block your increment each year following an individual assessment under PMDS.
Outsourcingto non-trade union employments which are only required to pay the minimum wage and other legally enforceable wage rates is part of the DEAL. Clarification specifies that outsourcing will apply to all parts of the public service(eg professional services). Because the government set aside T2016, unions were in a position to resist outsourcing, but the Croke Park negotiators agreed to put it back into the new deal. This is an engine designed to reduce pay rates across the public sector. It will undermine trade union power.
This leaflet has been produced by IMPACT members across several branches