INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
SOUTHERN HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal Against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation Ir998/00/Mr
2. The worker concerned is employed as a staff nurse working Monday to Friday on a 5-day week. She is a job sharer on a week-on, week-off basis. The worker transferred from a psychiatric unit in Tralee General Hospital to a day centre in Tralee in accordance with the Castlerea Formula. The Castlerea Formula was specially designed to accommodate this type of transfer and includes the following: a community allowance, a compensation lump sum and a travel allowance. It is the interpretation of the formula that is in dispute. The lump sum is to be paid as compensation for nurses assigned on a continuous basis, and for the foreseeable future, to the community. The travel allowance is payable for a transitional 2 year period from the date of transfer to the community. The Board's view is that as the worker was a job sharer she could receive only half the lump sum/travel allowance. The Union believes that she should have received full compensation.
The Union referred the case to a Rights Commissioner who found in favour of the Board's interpretation. His recommendation is as follows:
"I therefore recommend that the Union's claim falls."
The Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 17th of April, 2001, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 25th of September, 2001, in Tralee.
3. 1. The Board's interpretation of the Formula discriminates against job sharers. The lump sum was to be calculated on the basis of the premium income a nurse would earn if he/she had continued to work in the hospital. The lump sum paid as part of the "Nurses' strike" was paid in full to all, including job sharers. The same applies where relocation lump sums are paid.
2. The travel allowance is payable for a transitional 2 year period from the date of transfer. This would mean a job sharer should be paid for every day worked for 4 years or the equivalent of 2 full years. The reference to 2 years is only as an acceptable method of calculation. It is not intended as a time limit.
4. 1. The Board has adhered strictly to the Castlerea Formula. It allows for compensation to be paid on a pro rata basis to those nurses who do not have a full-time commitment. The worker was a job sharer before she moved into the community and, as such, can only receive half the lump sum.
2. The criteria in respect of payment for the travel allowance is specific: "it is payable in respect only of each day worked". The worker concerned does not work every day. Had she worked 5 x half day each week she would have received the full travel allowance.
The Court has given consideration to all aspects of this appeal. The Union accepts that the appellant is covered by the Castlerea Formula, and the Court is satisfied that management has applied that formula correctly. Therefore, the appeal is disallowed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th October, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.