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Those of you who have been turned down for SSN recognition with effect from 5th November 2009 will be aware that the HSE unilaterally and without any consultation withdrew sanction for the processing of applications for SSN Posts. This decision was communicated by H.R managers to staff stating “Having regard to the current moratorium on public sector recruitment and promotions HSE Corporate Employee Relations Department have confirmed that the filling of the post of SSN is NOT permitted under the moratorium”

HSE Corporate Employee Relations did not even consider it appropriate to inform the Unions of this position never mind enter into any consultation discussion regarding this clear breach of a national agreement.
Des Kavanagh wrote to the HSE and among other things stated “The failure of the HSE to consult the trade unions merely illustrates the contempt managers have for nurses, a contempt which will generate its own dividends”

Attempts to get the HSE to re-consider were unsuccessful and the PNA referred the matter to the Labour Relation Commissioner on 1st of February 2010.
A Conciliation Conference was held on Thursday 17th June attended by the PNA, INO and SIPTU
A Strong case was put at conciliation that failure to process SSN posts which was an integral part of the settlement of the biggest industrial dispute in the history of the State, the nurses strike of 1999, was a Breach of a National agreement was perverse and amounted to an attack on nurses that was disgraceful. It would reverse the terms of the settlement and would in time amount to the total abolition of the post of SSN.

Our view is that it could not be conceived as coming within the context of the moratorium since the only criteria for qualification is length of service. Nurses do undertake to participate in a training/orientation programme but to our knowledge not one nurse who has been processed for SSN since 1999 has been offered a place on any such course.

Despite the best attempts of the conciliation officer no agreement was possible since management insisted on repeating the mantra of moratorium: moratorium: ...

We have today received notification from the Labour Court that the case has been referred to them by the Labour Relation Commission and we await a date for the hearing.
We are hopeful that the Court will hear this important case as soon as possible.