INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
EASTERN HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Provision of footwear to non-nursing personnel.
2. The dispute concerns a claim by the Union for the issue of protective footwear to Attendants and Household grades employed throughout the Eastern Health Board. The Union claims that a number of EHB Hospitals supply both uniforms and footwear to non-nursing grades e.g. Baggot Street Hospital, Bru Chaoimhin and St. Clare's Home.
Management claims that the staff concerned do not warrant the provision of footwear. It argues that staff in main kitchen hospitals are issued with footwear for safety reasons only which is not a factor in ward kitchens.
As agreement was not possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 26th of August, 1997 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 12th of December, 1997.
3. 1. Non-nursing staff in a number of Eastern Health Board hospitals are supplied with uniforms and footwear. The provision of footwear should extend to all non-nursing staff throughout the organisation.
2. It is discriminatory to supply to one group of workers and refuse others when both grades are involved at the same level of service.
3. The provision of footwear is commonly regarded as part of a uniform and should be supplied.
4. 1. The staff concerned do not warrant the provision of footwear. Only staff employed in main kitchen hospitals are issued with footwear for safety reasons. It is not a factor in ward kitchens.
2. If the claim was conceded it would have knock-on effects for the Board.
3. The annual cost of the claim would amount to £145,000. The current budgetary position of the Board is not in a position to sustain such a substantive claim.
Having considered the submissions from the parties and taking into account the financial implications of the claim the Court is satisfied that it would not be justified in recommending concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd December, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.