The health service job evaluation scheme, which was suspended at the outset of the economic crash, is to reopen on 1st June following a successful IMPACT campaign. The scheme, which currently covers clerical and admin grades III to VI, offers staff the prospect of an upgrading if their job roles and responsibilities are found to have increased sufficiently.
Under an agreement with the union, the HSE has agreed to fast-track staff who had applied for a job evaluation prior to the scheme’s suspension in 2008. Workers who were recommended for job evaluation during the recent long-term acting regularisation process will also be prioritised, along with those who have been recommended for job evaluation by third parties. New applications from clerical officers will also get priority.
The scheme applies to all mainstream health organisations including voluntary hospitals and other ‘section 38’ agencies.
IMPACT has called on the HSE to put resources in place to clear the substantial backlog of cases already in the system. The union’s national secretary Eamonn Donnelly said there could be as many as 700 people already due an evaluation under the agreed priorities.
“The reintroduction of job evaluations is good news for IMPACT members and for the health service, where staff morale and motivation will be boosted if people get proper recognition for the skills and responsibilities they bring to work.
“The huge cuts in clerical and administrative staffing since the moratorium have seen large numbers of our members taking on huge extra burdens to fill the gaps. In job evaluation terms, many have seen their jobs grow in size compared to eight years ago,” he said.
IMPACT has this week completed in-depth job evaluation training for union representatives and the union will be ready to start work when the scheme opens in June. Donnelly has told the HSE knows they must match this effort to tackle the substantial backlog.
The union also says the scheme is capable of being applied to more senior administrative and management grades, as well as professional and technical staff. “The HSE knows we want to see the scheme extended to these groups over time,” said Eamonn.
Job evaluation schemes are not the same as performance assessments. They assess the skills and responsibilities required in a particular role, rather than the individual performing it. Under the agreement reached with the HSE, positions that are upgraded following job evaluation schemes will be filled by current post-holders if they have been in the job for four years or more. Otherwise they will be filled by competition.