INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
MIDLAND HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. The filling of staff nurse posts.
2. The worker claims that the Midland Health Board has failed to honour a written agreement between management and permanent staff in relation to the filling of permanent posts. The claimant states that the agreement provided for the replacement of services at St. Fintans Hospital, Portlaoise, with a community based mental health service. The worker claims that she applied for one of the posts in the area of Psychiatry of Old Age. The worker states that the posts (2) were filled by nurses who were employed on a temporary basis at the time of their interviews.
Management considered that the best approach was to invite interested staff to apply for the posts and to interview and select those deemed most suitable. The Board claims that two candidates were placed higher on the panel than the claimant and as a result, the 2 posts were offered and accepted accordingly.
The worker claims that as a permanent employee she should have had first option either to accept or reject the offer of a post.
The worker referred the dispute to the Labour Court on the 9th August, 2000 under Section 20 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. The Court investigated the dispute on the 26th October, 2000.
3. 1. Prior to the filling of the two posts, it has always been the case that such posts were filled by suitable qualified permanent staff.
2. Management is in breach of the agreement between permanent staff and the Board in relation to the filling of permanent posts.
3. The posts should not have been offered to temporary staff.
4. 1. Management decided that the best approach was to invite interested staff to apply for the posts. Those selected were deemed the most suitable.
2. The advertisement for the posts did not preclude temporary nurses from making application for these posts.
3. The worker concerned is in the Board's employment for a long time and is regarded by management as a competent and valued member of staff.
4. The claimant has secured a panel placing and will be considered for any vacancies which may arise in the future.
The Court has given consideration to all aspects of this dispute and is of the view that the Board did not act appropriately in its selection and recruitment process when filling the position for a staff nurse in the Psychiatry of Old Age unit.
In the event of a position arising for a day hospital nurse in the Psychiatry of Old Age unit at any time up to the 7th March 2002 the Court recommends that the worker must be offered first choice for such a position.
If no such position arises within that period then the parties are free to return to the Court, where the Court will issue a recommendation to award compensation to the claimant.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th November, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.