Making best use of the Public Service Agreement

Successes to date of the Public Service Agreement included reduced budget and increased activity, a reduction of over 10,000 in WTEs since 2007 with increased activity, 4,500 redeployments, roster changes, coping with “grace period” and the new Clinical Care Programmes, Mr. Brian Kirwan told the HMI Dublin North East Forum in Ardee.  Maureen Browne reports.

Successes to date of the Public Service Agreement included reduced budget and increased activity, a reduction of over 10,000 in WTEs since 2007 with increased activity, 4,500 redeployments, roster changes, coping with “grace period” and the new Clinical Care Programmes, Mr. Brian Kirwan Head of Corporate Employee Relations in the HSE told the HMI Dublin North East Forum.

Brian Kirwan
Brian Kirwan

He said the key objective of the Public Service Agreement was to make the public service more efficient and effective, to reduce its cost base, increase productivity and to implement the Service Plan.It provided processes to be followed for the introduction of rosters, extended day etc., and the introduction of skill mix, matching of staff to activity.

He said the key objective of the Public Service Agreement was to make the public service more efficient and effective, to reduce its cost base, increase productivity and to implement the Service Plan

The objectives of the present plan were to analyse the need/demand which underpinned the plan, a confirmation by management that the alternative working arrangements would meet quality and clinical care requirement, to examine the impact on human resources (numbers/rosters/earnings across all disciplines), to establish any information on cost savings and to examine the impact of the alternative attendance pattern on earnings, family commitments and personal or social arrangements.

Mr. Kirwan said the Public Service Agreement provided mechanisms such as the LRC and the Joint Review Groups (which consist of two management and two union representatives) to resolve disagreements and trade unions would co-operate with implementation of change pending outcome of the industrial relations processes.

The PSA sets out parameters for consultation, affirmation and adjudication and there was a specific process to deal with matters such as the extended working day, the delivery of service of 24/7, the review of existing rostering arrangements and redeployment protocol.

The key messages of the PSA were that it was a tool for management to effect real change, timelines needed to be managed, following the process would result in success and to use appropriate mechanism to resolve disagreement.