INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
EASTERN HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR 228/99CW.
2. The worker has been employed by the Board since 1979. In 1985 he was assigned as Grade A Supplies Officer at St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane In 1991, he was appointed as a Grade 7 Senior Buyer in the materials management structure, though he continued to work in St. Ita's Hospital. He was remunerated on the Senior Buyer's salary scale.
The Union's claim is that in 1994, the worker took over responsibility for contracting the national influenza vaccine on behalf of all eight Health Boards, and it is seeking a dual-capacity allowance for the worker. He continued to do the work until 1998 when he was re-deployed. The Board rejected the Union's claim on the basis that the worker did not carry out the full range of Senior Buyer duties. The Board also claims that the worker's position as Senior Buyer in the Cherry Orchard Hospital was available but that he did not take up the offer.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner and his recommendation is as follows:-
"I recommend that the worker accepts that he does
not have entitlements to the allowance."
(The worker was named in the above recommendation).
The Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 8th of July, 1999, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 16th of September, 1999.
3. 1. The duties the worker took on in 1994 were, in effect, the responsibilities of an additional post. There are now two people doing the same duties that the worker did in 1994-1998
2. The national vaccine contract was a success, and resulted in savings for the Board and the Department of Health.
3. Other officers engaged in work of a similar nature on a national basis during this period received dual-capacity allowance.
4. The worker could not have moved to his position in the Cherry Orchard Hospital even if he had wanted to.
4. 1. Payment of a dual-capacity allowance occurs when an officer is requested to act as a substitute for another officer, while continuing to carry out the duties of his/her substantive post. In this case, the worker concerned only carried out some additional duties.
2. The worker remained, by agreement, in his substantive position in St. Ita's Hospital. The Board was willing to facilitate him with an early transfer to Cherry Orchard.
3. National contract duties are currently carried out by Senior Buyers, and no additional allowance is paid.
Having considered the submissions of the parties to this appeal, the Court finds no grounds to alter the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner.
The appeal is, therefore, rejected.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th October, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.