INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR 662/98/CW.
2. The worker is employed by the Company as a cleaner in Beaumont Hospital, and has worked there for the past 12 years. Since 1997, she has worked in the X-Ray Department from 9.00 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Prior to 1997 she had worked split hours - 4½ hours per day in the Theatre/X-Ray where she was paid the Theatre rate, and 2½ hours in another area. There is some contention as to whether the 4½ hours was worked in Theatre or X-Ray. The Union claims that she worked some time in X-Ray but agrees that it was mainly Theatre.
Following a request by the worker, who wished to work all her hours together, she was moved to the X-Ray Department. The worker's claim is that she should continue to be paid the Theatre rate, which has a differential of £1.10 per hour, whilst she is working in the X-Ray Department.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner and his Recommendation is as follows:
"I recommend that the worker accepts that the Theatre rate is not applicable to X-Ray."
(The worker was named in the above Recommendation.)
The Union appealed the Recommendation to the Labour Court on the 31st of March, 1999, in accordance with Section 13 (9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 22nd of July, 1999.
3. 1. When the worker was employed part-time in Theatre/X-Ray she received the Theatre rate.
2. When she became aware of the conditions attached to the full time job in X-Ray, she sought the restoration of the Theatre rate.
3. The work in the X-Ray Department is different from work on the wards, in that the worker is involved in cleaning equipment which from time to time is spattered with blood. Ward staff do not clean up blood or equipment.
4. The worker is not seeking to establish a "Theatre rate". She is seeking the restoration of a rate that was paid to her while on part-time work, to what is now a full-time job.
4. 1. The worker only received the Theatre rate when she worked in Theatre prior to 1997. The rate for the X-Ray Department is the same as every other section, except Theatre.
2. The worker requested the position she now occupies. She was aware at the time of taking the job that the Theatre rate did not apply in X-Ray, and accepted this. The worker's previous job i.e. part-time in Theatre, is available for her to return to if she wishes.
3. The X-Ray Department is not unique, and a high standard of cleaning is required across all areas of the hospital.
4. The Theatre rate is an anomaly inherited by the Company. Extension of the Theatre rate to the X-Ray Department would have major repercussive effects if conceded.
Having considered the written and oral submissions of the parties, the Court is of the view that the argument made for different rates of pay to apply in different areas of the Hospital is not the issue before the Court. The Court is of the view that this would be an issue for consideration by the Contract Cleaning Joint Labour Committee.
The issue before the Court is for the retention of thetheatre rateto the appellant, following her transfer from cleaning duties in the theatre area to cleaning duties in the x-ray area.
The Court does not find that the case has been made for the retention of thetheatre rateto duties in another area.
Therefore, the Court upholds the Rights Commissioner's recommendation.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th August, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.