INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
NORTH EASTERN HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Non payment of the travel element of the Castlerea Formula.
2. The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of two of its members for payment of the Travel Allowance under the "Castlerea Formula".
The "Castlerea Formula" is an agreement reached between the Union and Management in relation to the transfer of services from the hospital to the community.
The workers concerned are employed as psychiatric nurses in the Occupational Therapy Department attached to St. Brigid's Hospital. Both workers were advised that St. Mark's Hostel would be their responsibility and that their services would be required at the hostel each morning and evening. The hostel is situated outside the grounds of the hospital and approximately one quarter of a mile from the Occupational Therapy Department.
The Union claims that the workers concerned are entitled to the travel allowance under the agreement as they provide a service in a new work location outside the grounds of the hospital.
The Board rejects the claim on the basis that the workers concerned are assigned to the Occupational Therapy Department on the hospital grounds and that it is not a requirement to attend St. Mark's Hostel. The dispute could not be resolved at local level.
The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission held on the 25th of November, 1998. As agreement was not reached. the dispute was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 16th of May, 2000, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The nurses concerned were instructed to attend St. Mark's hostel on a daily basis from Monday to Friday.
2. Residents cannot cope without the services the nurses provide. The nurses prepare the residents to attend the Occupational Therapy Department daily. If any of the residents are on medication, they are admitted to hospital for the weekend when the hostel is not staffed.
3. The nurses are providing an essential service to the community at a new work location outside the grounds of the hospital. The Union claims that they are entitled to the travel allowance under the agreement.
4. 1. It is not a requirement to attend St. Mark's hostel. Much of the work done by the nurses in the hostel could be done in the Occupational Therapy Department.
2. The residents are independent. At weekends the hostel is unstaffed and the residents are capable of looking after themselves.
3. The work location of both nurses is the Occupational Therapy Department which is within the grounds of the hospital. The greater part of the working day is spent here. In order to qualify for the travel allowance, the new work location has to be outside the grounds of the hospital. Therefore, the claim cannot be justified.
The Court, having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties, is not satisfied that the claimants qualify for travel allowance as outlined in the "Castlerea Formula".
The Court, therefore, does not recommend concession of the Union's claim in this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
22nd May, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.