INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
MILFORD CARE CENTRE
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH NURSES' ORGANISATION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Pay and conditions of employment.
2. The Union has submitted a claim for the application of the Department of Health and Children's Pay and Terms and Conditions of Employment to the nursing staff (full time and job-sharers) at Milford Care Centre Limited as per Labour Court Recommendation LCR13309.
The Milford Care Centre Ltd is run under the auspices of the Little Company of Mary and consists of (a) Milford Hospice; (b) Nursing Home and (c) Home Care Team.
The Hospice and Home Care are 80% funded through the Mid-Western Health Board. The shortfall is made up of fund raising, voluntary charitable contributions, V.H.I. and BUPA payments from private patients. The Union states that it wants parity for its members with colleagues employed in the Public Sector.
Management claims that Milford Care Centre has traditionally maintained linkages with the Mid-Western Health Board for nursing staff in respect of the following areas:
(a) Pay Scales
(b) Annual Leave Entitlements
(c) Sunday Premia
(d) Night Duty Premia
All other terms and conditions of employment have by custom and practice been adjusted from time to time in accordance with the Centre's ability to pay. The Centre is not in a financial position to implement the award given to nurses in the Public Sector.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. Conciliation conferences were held on the 2nd of February, 2000, 14th March, 2000 and the 14th July, 2000 at which no final agreement was possible. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 22nd September, 2000 under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 26th October, 2000.
3. 1. Following clarification from the Court in relation to LCR13309 it was confirmed that premium payments should be linked to the pay rates of nurses in the Public Sector.
2. The nursing staff at Milford Care Centre are required to have the same qualifications and provide the same quality service as their colleagues in the Public Sector.
3. Some nursing staff have recently left Milford Care Centre and have taken up employment in a local Public Sector hospital where they have attained higher salary scales and entitlements.
4. The nursing staff at Milford Care Centre is a dedicated team of professionals, they expect and demand the same pay and conditions as their counterparts in the Public Sector.
4. 1. The terms and conditions of employment have, by custom and practice, been adjusted in accordance with the Centre's ability to pay.
2. Management cannot countenance the Union's claim for parity with the Public Sector for nursing staff. It is not in a financial position to concede this claim.
3. The Industrial Officer (IRO) put forward proposals on the 12th July, 2000 which both parties agreed to recommend for acceptance.
4. The Centre is a registered charity, and all services provided are operated on a non-profit basis.
The Court has given consideration to the written and oral submissions of both sides. The Court understands the Union's position that there should be parity with Health Board pay and terms and conditions of employment for nurses employed in this Centre. Equally, the Court understands the Centre's constraints in terms of trying to fund such pay and conditions while endeavouring to retain fees at their current level and prevent the number of patients from dropping.
Therefore, the Court recommends that the aspirations of the Union should be met within a specified time scale. The Court is aware of the proposals which emerged from conciliation, which both sides recommended for acceptance and which were subsequently rejected.
While the Court understands the difficulties these proposals presented for the members in that they did not result in immediate implementation of the pay and terms sought, the Court is of the view that when account is taken of the Centre's difficulties these proposals represent a basis for resolution of these claims.
A reference was made at the Court hearing to the substantial sum of money raised at a golf event in aid of local charities. While it was confirmed that the Centre would be one of the thirty-four applications to benefit from the event, the criteria for payment specified that the money could only be spent on specific projects and could not be used for the day to day running of the organisation. Another condition stipulated that donations would have to be matched pound for pound by State allocations.
The Court recommends that both sides should accept the proposals, which emerged from the Labour Relations Commission in July 2000 with the following adjustments:-
Incremental Credit for Permanent Staff
The following incremental credit shall apply, subject to the necessary certification of service confirming eligibility being provided to Management:
2000 3 increments in addition to earned increment
2001 2 increments in addition to earned increment
2002 1 increment in addition to earned increment
Incremental credit is to be granted in accordance with individual anniversary dates commencing from 1st January 2000.
The application of incremental credit to apply as per the proposals.
Incremental Credit For Permanent Job-Sharers
The Court notes as a fact that management have accepted the principle that job sharers are entitled to incremental credit for each year of service. The Court recommends that this should be implemented from the date of this recommendation.
Incremental Credit For Temporary Staff
The Court recommends that both existing and new temporary staff should be entitled to move to point 3 of the staff nurse scale with effect from 1st January 2000. Thereafter, movement should be as per the proposals.
Location and Specialist Qualification Allowance
The Court recommends that for Home Care nursing the erosion of these allowances that they held up to 1998 should rectified, and recommends that these losses should be offset by the payment of the allowances as claimed from 1st January 2000.
The Court recommends that the annual leave of nurses in the Centre should be as per the entitlements to nurses in Health Boards, as specified in Labour Court Recommendation No. 16261.
Unsocial Hours Premium
The Court recommends that unsocial hours premium should be reviewed in July 2002.
Senior Staff Nurse
The Court notes that the July 2000 proposals for senior staff nurse positions proved unacceptable. At this point the Court recommends that there is merit in both parties revisiting this issue. Therefore, the Court recommends that further discussion should commence on this issue and if no settlement is reached then this specific issue may be referred back to the Court for a definitive recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd November, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.