HR boss says unions excluded from plan

The head of HR at the Western Trust has acknowledged trade unions representing thousands of health workers have not been invited to sit on a regional workforce planning group (RWPG) was established to take forward the specific jobs-slashing proposals in ‘Transforming Your Care.’

Ann McConnell, HR director at the Western Trust told the Stormont Health Committee: “I think that it is fair to say that, at the moment, the trades unions are not at the table at the regional workforce planning group, but they have been invited to nominate a representative to the regional domiciliary care working group, which is where the workforce planning is taking place for reshaping that model.”

The launch of Transforming Your Care in 2011.

The launch of Transforming Your Care in 2011.

She made the acknowledgment weeks after trade unionist complained to the Committee that they had been excluded from the process.

Anne Speed, from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) told the Stormont Committee: “Two years ago, we raised the issue of workforce planning and were advised by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) that the only workforce planning taking place was as part of Transforming Your Care (TYC).

“We were then informed a little later that there was an initiative at departmental level to do with workforce planning structure that would address the tools required for workforce planning and that there was no space or opportunity for us to be involved.

“We were advised that it was not relevant to us. We have arrived at a point at which a workforce planning structure has been established: the regional workforce planning group. We have not been invited.

“We have had sight of some paperwork. There was a consultation document in September, and we had sight of the evidence presented to you in March this year, but we have not been invited in.”