A Special ReportTRADE UNIONS
have the happy habit of attempting to be all things to all people.
To managements they speak of partnership, collaboration, productivity, output, Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
To their members they speak of stability of pay and conditions plus all of the above but not at the one time.
To themselves, internally, trade unions live in a rarified world which sometimes skirts all of the above but can be shockingly out of sync with Joe Soap on any of them.
Cregg House is the latest example. An emergency union staff meeting has been called for tomorrow, Friday. See SligoToday.ie 26/9/12Scale of Shortfall
The task for unions here was simple, straightforward:-
1. For five full MONTHS
the unions have known the Daughters of Wisdom were withdrawing in toto
from delivering services for persons with an intellectual disability, as they had done since 1955.
2. The Daughters declined to renew a Service Level Agreement because of the scale of shortfall in its grant from the HSE. Clear words and clean lines of communication.
3. The unions needed, then, to ensure/assist etc that there would be an orderly transition from Daughters of Wisdom to HSE.....and to offer partnership, collaboration, productivity, output in return for fixity of pay and conditions.
Even better for the unions, there was/is an opportunity here to pool their effectively demand a formal ''transfer of undertaking.''
A ''transfer of undertaking'' tranposes European law into Irish law and enhances workers rights where their employer is changing.Win win win
Right up trade union street, plus the added bonus of moving from a private employer to a State employer.
Win win win, then for the unions. So.....
Has SIPTU concluded talks with HSE on its role in a formal transfer of undertaking?
Has IMPACT concluded talks with the HSE on its role in a transfer of undertaking?
HAS the INMO concluded talks with the HSE on its role in a transfer of undertaking?
What has each of these unions said to HSE, and vice versa
, re a transfer of undertaking? Did they encourage it? What was response of HSE? What was response of Daughters of Wisdom?
What we seemed to get from one of those unions this week was gunboat diplomacy - an "emergency" meeting five days before a changeover after having five months to pin the tail on the donkey?
The old Irish proverb comes to mind: "Ni he la na gaoithe la na scoilb"
- the day of the wind is not the day for thatching.
Even worse, INMO, the main nursing union, hasn't even seemed to direct its fire at the correct enemy.
Its fire and ire was reserved for the Daughters of Wisdom, due to depart as service providers and private employers in a matter of days.
Full well the nursing union knows that the statutory obligation to provide the services and ensure continuity resides with the HSE.
Continuity of service, raised by the INMO, is not in question. Who said so?
Minister Kathleen Lynch met TDs and Senate in her office on Wednesday April 25th 2012 and expressly said so.
Damian McCallion, HSE Director of Integrated Services Programme for Sligo, Leitrim & West Cavan, responsible at management level for hospital and community services, concurred with Minister Lynch at that meeting.
It was reported by SligoToday.ie
that the meeting in the Minister's office may also have focussed on the issue of skillmix.Express Gratitude
Translate it any way you like but the Department and HSE have consistently made clear want less staff nurses and more care assistants in disability service, going forward.
That's how the word ''skillmix'' translates. No other sentence encapsulates ''skillmix,'' even when the Celtic Tiger was eating his daily dinner in Rosses Point.
How much progress on that issue of skillmix did the INMO make with the HSE in the past five months? Let's hear all the specifics.
Finally, it would be nice if the trade unions (all of them) could express gratitude to the Daughters of Wisdom -- and the La Sagesse Sisters before them -- for their employment, energies, outstanding advocacy and endless input of millions of pounds, punts, euros over six decades.
Without the Sisters there would have been NO
service from 1955. A lifetime. Always be first with Sligo news - Never miss a story - Join us on Facebook