INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
RESIDENTIAL CARE CENTRE
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Claim for appropriate night and weekend premia payments.
2. The dispute concerns the Union's claim that the Residential Care Centre in Galway has not applied the appropriate premia rates, i.e., £5.17 for Saturday, double time for Sunday and time and a quarter for nights, to four workers. The dates of appointment of the workers concerned are the 11th of April, 1990, the 18th of May, 1991, the 5th of September, 1993 and the 21st of September, 1995.
Despite attempts over the years, the issue has not been resolved. A conciliation conference took place in December, 1996, at which management at the Centre stated that it had no objection to the Union's claim but that it was totally dependent of the Western Health Board for funding. In August, 1997, a letter to the Union from the Health Board stated that it would underwrite the expenditure for the year 1997, and that the workers concerned would be remunerated accordingly. The Union believed that the workers would receive the appropriate premia retrospective to January, 1997 and that the only remaining issue was retrospection to the dates of appointment. Accordingly, the Union postponed a proposed Labour Court hearing. However, the payments were not made. On the 1st of April, 1998, the workers received payment of double time for Sundays retrospective to the 1st January, 1998. No other payments have been received to date. The Union is now seeking all appropriate retrospection payments.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 19th of June, 1997, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 30th of April, 1998, in Galway. The Centre did not attend the hearing but in a letter to the Court again confirmed that it had no objection to the Union's claim, and that it understood the Health Board would pay retrospection to January, 1997.
3. 1. The four workers have pay parity with non-nursing personnel Group IV. There have been numerous assurances over the years that the appropriate rate would be paid but this had not happened. The workers have been working nights for between 3 and 8 years without application of the premia rates enjoyed by their colleagues in the Health Board. Retrospection should be to the dates of appointment, not January, 1997, as the Health Board has indicated.
The Court notes from the correspondence produced that agreement has been reached on some aspects of this claim with back dating to the 1st of January, 1997.
Having considered the written submissions made by the parties, the Court finds that the Union's case is well founded.
The Court, therefore, recommends that the claimants be paid the appropriate rates, back dated to date of appointment.
The calculation and method of payment of back money to be the subject of discussions between the parties.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th May, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.