INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TEMPLE ST/HOLLES ST HOSPITAL
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH NURSES' ORGANISATION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Improvement in pay and conditions of service.
2. The dispute concerns a claim by the Union for the extension to Nurse Tutors, involved in the midwifery area of the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street and in the paediatric area of the Children's Hospital Temple Street, of the interim agreement applicable to Nurse Tutors in General Hospitals in respect of their involvement in the new Student Nurse Diploma Programme and the regrading structure involved.
The Union is seeking the following to bring its members into line with the new regrading structures;
(1) The up-grading of all Grade 3 Tutors to Grade 2 status with assimilation
on a point to point basis.
(2) Payment of a pro rata allowance to Grade 1 Tutors of approximately
(3) Two days additional leave to all Tutors involved in the programme for
the duration of same.
(4) Tutors be given financial assistance in respect of additional educational
(5) Improvements in Secretarial support services and additional technological
backup in respect of Schools of Nursing.
The pilot training programme for Nurse Tutors in general training was introduced in University College, Galway, in 1994. The programme was subsequently extended to Limerick Regional Hospital and Beaumount Hospital, Dublin, in 1995, and is now the norm for student general nurse training in all locations. The union is seeking retrospection of the claim for Nurse Tutors with effect from October, 1995 in the case of Holles Street Hospital and October, 1996 in respect of Temple Hospital.
Management rejects the Union's claim and states that nurses pay and conditions of employment was the subject of long discussions and debate between management and trade unions throughout 1996/1997 which culminated in the issuing of the "Blue Book Agreement" and Labour Court Recommendation LCR15450. The agreement and recommendation was accepted by both sides concerning nurses pay. As a result the "Nurse Tutor" grade was subsumed into the increased salary for Principal Nurse Tutor. Management claims that the "Blue Book" and LCR15450 settled all outstanding pay issues for nurses and that the Union's claim is no longer valid.
It also claims that in accordance with the recommendations of the "Blue Book", an impartial assessment on the full implications of the implementation of the revised system of student nurse training for the roles and responsibilities of Nurse Tutors was being undertaken. It will operate under the auspices of the School of Health Sciences at the University of Ulster. In addition, a Commission on Nursing will report on its findings by mid-1998. Issues relating to Nurse Tutors are encompassed within the Commission's remit.
The Union claims that the terms of the "Tutor Package" should have been applied to its members before the "Blue Book" was finalised. If this had been done the "Blue Book" would have taken account of the terms now being sought by the Union.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 3rd of June, 1997 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 30th of September, 1997 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 22nd of January, 1998.
3. 1. As a result of changes in the methods of training student nurses the workload and responsibilities now being undertaken by Nurse Tutors in Temple Street and Holles Street hospitals has increased considerably. The full terms of the "Tutor Package" should be applied to these nurses.
2. Management should concede the claim. The cost of concession is minimal.
3. The Nurse Tutors in the Paediatric and Midwifery nursing have shown the same level of commitment, vision and enthusiasm as their colleagues in general nursing teaching and this must be recognised by their employers.
4. The involvement of these Nurse Tutors in a diploma listed programme long pre-dated the eventual agreement contained in the "Blue Book" and Labour Court Recommendation LCR15450.
5. This claim seeks the retention of the long standing pay parity between Nurse Tutors in all of the various nursing disciplines. It is also about the issue of equity between staff of similar grades.
4. 1. The Nurse Tutors in Holles Street and Temple Street hospitals were not included in the original pilot scheme. The Nurse Tutor grade has been subsumed following the nurses dispute and the terms and conditions as set out in the "Blue Book" now apply.
2. The Department of Health and Children and Local Management consider these claims now being raised by the nursing unions as new claims under the Partnership 2000 Agreement.
3. The Nurse Tutors received significant pay increases from the deal, receiving up to 13.94% , 13.56% and 19.58% respectively for former Principal Tutor III, Principal Tutor II, and Principal I grades.
4. There are no additional funds available to meet further claims for special pay increases for nursing grades.
5. All general issues in relation to the nursing profession are presently under examination by a special Commission. Issues relating to Nurse Tutors are encompassed within the Commission's remit.
Having considered the submissions from the parties and taking into account the contents of the Blue Book and related Labour Court recommendation, the Court has concluded it would not be justified in recommending concession of the claim.
The Court also notes that all general issues in relation to the nursing profession are presently under examination by a special commission.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th January, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.