HSE figures scotch admin myth

keyboardThe number of clerical, administrative and management staff employed by the HSE and major hospitals has fallen by over 13% since 2009, according to official figures. This is the biggest drop of any staff group except ‘general support staff’.

IMPACT says the figures, which show changes in health service staffing by category, scotch the myth that the health service employs too many administrators. The figures also show that almost 70% of the HSE’s ‘management and admin’ staff category are in the lowest two pay grades. Almost 40% of admin staff are employed at the lowest grade.

Admin and management staff now make up just over 15% of total HSE staffing. Most of them perform front-line roles or provide direct support to front-line staff, while others deliver vital services like payroll, IT, HR, finance, procurement and information.

Late last year, IMPACT national secretary Louise O’Donnell wrote to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform asking him to back up his claim that the HSE has identified “at least” 1,500 surplus administrators on its payroll. No confirmation of that figure was received.

Ms O’Donnell pointed out that most HSE areas have identified shortfalls in admin staff and said less than 10% of staff who applied were allowed to take unpaid career breaks in 2013. “Clerical and admin staffing has been cut to the bone in most areas and it is incredibly demotivating when politicians take cheap shots at staff who are doing their best to maintain services in this environment,” she said.

The HSE figures show that overall health service staffing fell by almost 10% – from 111,770 to 100,894 – between March 2009 and July 2013. The number of clerical officers fell by over 22%. The next largest declines in the management and admin stream were at director level (19%) and senior management (16%). The smallest staffing decline in the management-admin stream has been among middle management grades (5%).

This story was originally published in the IMPACT members’ e-bulletin on Friday 10th January 2014. Read the full edition HERE. The e-bulletin circulates every fortnight to all IMPACT members.

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