Dáil debates

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2007: Second Stage (Resumed)


5:00 pm

Photo of Séamus BrennanSéamus Brennan (Dublin South, Fianna Fail)

There were three meetings in 2006. I have met the unions. This matter was discussed at all those meetings. The national joint council of the health sector, which involves the two trade unions, the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health and Children, meets regularly and has discussed the matter. Officials from the Department met the entire cadre of superintendent community welfare officers in July and November of last year. A series of regional briefings for the staff of the HSE's community welfare service is being organised by the HSE and the Department. The first of the briefings, which will provide an opportunity for further constructive engagement and feedback on the implementation programme, will take place next month. I assure community welfare officers that there will be a full process of constructive engagement and consultation with them about this process, and that their independence and flexibility will be assured by this House in legislation.


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