INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
MID WESTERN HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Rostering arrangements for Hostel Supervisors in Limerick.
2. The Union's claim is on behalf of resident and non-resident Hostel Supervisors who are attached to the Limerick Mental Health Services and are based in medium support hostels. The claim for revised rostering arrangements was first submitted in January, 1999. The claim was the subject of a conciliation conference on the 9th of August, 1999. Before proceeding further, the parties agreed to await the outcome of a similar claim on behalf of Clare supervisors which was before the Labour Court. Labour Court recommendation LCR16428 was issued on the 23rd of February, 2000.
The Union sought to have the terms of LCR16428 applied to the Limerick supervisors. The Health Board, however, disagreed. In October, 2000, the issue was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute in Limerick on the 13th of December, 2000.
3. 1. The claimants are seeking to have the hours that they presently work recognised for payment purposes. There is no difference in the terms and conditions of employment of Hostel Supervisors in Limerick and of those in Clare. The only identifiable difference is that weekends are included in the Limerick rosters.
2. Following discussions between both sides a document outlining proposed rostering arrangements was drawn up (details supplied to the Court). This could be the finalised roster if the Health Board concedes to recognise 1.00am as the paid finishing time and a slight adjustment is made on the rotational system.
3. The Health Board has stated that Group VI of the non-nursing pay scale is paid in recognition of the requirement to sleep in. However, non-resident Hostel Supervisors are also paid the Group VI rate.
4. The claimants are carers of people who are cared for by nurses during the day. The claimants are regularly disturbed from their night's rest to cater for their residents' needs. They spend 151.5 hours in the hostels which equates to pay of £1.75 per hour. On the basis of the service that they provide, a Sleepover Allowance is also warranted.
4. 1. The Hostel Supervisors are required to have a sleep in commitment. This was detailed in the terms and conditions for the post as advertised by the Board. The Group VI non-nursing pay scale applies to supervisors who are required to have a sleep in commitment, while Group I of the non-nursing pay scale is paid to those who do not. A previous claim for the payment of a sleep in allowance was the subject of LCR14945 which found that the Group VI rate was "to be an all embracing rate of pay".
2. The services in Limerick and Clare are not exactly reflective of each other. Each service needs to be examined in its own right taking into account client needs and service requirements. Negotiations are still ongoing in relation to the Clare roster.
3. The Limerick supervisors already have enhanced entitlements vis a vis their Clare colleagues. They receive twelve hours premium payment on Sundays. It is not possible for the Board to pick and choose the most attractive elements from each area and apply them to any particular group.
4. The Board accepts that Hostel Supervisors are committed to the delivery of a quality service to their clients. However, it does not accept that the service in Limerick requires the claimants to work until 1.00am. The Board's proposals of August, 2000 (details to the Court) address the claim in a generous and flexible way, while seeking to ensure that service requirements and the varying individual needs of clients are assured.
The Court notes that the rostering arrangements proposed by the Health Board provides that the staff concerned will be paid for the same number of standard and premium hours as those proposed in respect of the staff at the County Clare hostels. While the structure of rostered hours is different, there must be the facility to determine rostering arrangements that best meets the needs of the particular hostels and their clients. The Court is satisfied that the arrangements proposed are consistent with the spirit and intent of LCR16428.
For this reason the Court recommends that rostering arrangements proposed by management should be accepted.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th January, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.