INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Loyalty / transfer payment.
2. The hospital is in the process of being sold by the current owners (religious order) to the Western Health Board. The hospital is being sold as a going concern and all employees rights and entitlements are guaranteed. The Union's claim is for a loyalty/transfer bonus from the current owners. Both sides acknowledge that while such payments have occurred in the private sector that there is no precedent for such payments in the health sector.
This dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 12th of April, 2001. As no agreement could be reached the matter was referred to the Labour Court under Section 26(1)(a)(b) of the Industrial Relations Act, on the 4th of May, 2001. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 20th of June 2001.
3. 1. The payment of transfer/loyalty bonuses is not unusual and is not confined to large multi nationals.
2. Staff claim that their loyalty and efforts contributed in no small way to the saleability of the hospital.
3. Staff have contributed considerably to the extensive fund-raising and have made donations over the years to purchase new equipment and build extensions at the hospital.
4. 1. The hospital is not a commercially driven organisation.
2. The Congregation intend leaving a legacy to the Hospital for staff development and considers the disbursement of the legacy to be entirely a matter for Management working through whatever forum is most suitable.
3. The Congregation will have to build a new convent and support the Sisters living there as well as the Sisters abroad who will be returning to Ireland when they retire.
4. The hospital laid down certain conditions as part of the sale to ensure that there would be no redundancies, the current area from which public patients could attend the hospital would continue and the hospital would be developed.
The Court has considered the written and oral presentations of all parties to this claim. The Court rejects the claim for "loyalty/transfer Bonus."
The Court notes the offer of a legacy, made by the Congregation, to staff, which would be made following the sale of the Hospital. At the hearing, it was clarified that this legacy would be in the form of a sizeable payment made with no restrictions placed on its intended use or no restriction on who should benefit from it.
The Court recommends that this offer of a legacy on the above terms should be accepted in settlement of this claim and staff should co-operate with the transfer of the hospital to the health board. The Court is of the view that the appropriate forum for deciding on the distribution of the legacy is the Partnership Forum, which already exists. The Court recommends accordingly.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
29th June, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.