INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ST COLUMCILLE'S HOSPITAL
(REPRESENTED BY EAST COAST AREA HEALTH BOARD)
- AND -
IRISH NURSES' ORGANISATION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. "On-call" payments
2. The Union has submitted a claim on behalf of nurses employed in the Theatre Department of St. Columcille's Hospital. It is seeking a substantial increase in the rates for "on call" service. The Union claims that Labour Court Recommendation LCR 16261 provides the mechanism for dealing with such claims. It states that other hospitals such as St. Vincent's have completed deals locally on the issue based on LCR 16261. The Union is seeking an "on call" payment of £100 for weekdays and £200 for Saturday / Sunday. It is also looking for £75.00 per case per hour.
Management states that in March, 1999, theatre nurses requested that a job-sharing arrangement be put in place. This was agreed to on the basis that job-sharing nurses would be required to do more than the normal rate of "on-call" service. The amount of "on-call" cover being provided by theatre nurses is commensurate with service needs. The practice of providing "on-call" service will be eliminated when the recruitment of new staff is completed and the introduction of a new roster is in place.
As no agreement was possible between the parties, the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. Conciliation conferences were held on the 11th and 27th April, 2001 and on the 4th May, 2001 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 9th May, 2001 under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 8th June, 2001.
3. 1. The current level of "on-call" service is excessive. Any settlement of the claim should be made retrospective from March, 1999.
2. The "on-call" service provided by staff impacts on personal, family and social life beyond what is acceptable and reasonable.
3. Management are prepared to pay higher rates of pay to secure "on-call " services provided by the various nursing agencies.
4 . The Union is seeking to negotiate an adjustment in allowances for its members for providing an inordinate level of "on-call" service in accordance with the provisions of LCR16261.
4. 1. The rate of remuneration for "on-call" services is in accordance with nationally agreed rates.
2. The requirement to provide "on-call" cover will be reduced significantly in the coming months by the recruitment of extra theatre nurses. A new roster will eliminate the need to provide "on-call" cover.
3. The claim is cost increasing and is, therefore, precluded under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
4. Any concession of the claim will lead to knock-on effects in other areas of the hospital.
The Court notes the Management statement that it will eliminate the requirement to provide on-call cover within the next few months.
Based on this commitment the Court recommends that the claimants accept the proposals made in the Labour Relations Commission.
If the on-call is not eliminated by 31st December, 2001 then the issue should be revisited.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th June, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.