INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CAVAN GENERAL HOSPITAL
(REPRESENTED BY NORTH EASTERN HEALTH BOARD)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Rate of pay for staff undertaking mortuary attendant duties.
2. The Union has submitted a claim on behalf of two of its members employed as porters at Cavan General Hospital. The porters undertake postmortem attendant duties in the hospital mortuary in addition to their normal duties on a week-on, week off basis. The porters receive an additional allowance of €27.53 for their postmortem duties. The Union is seeking the application of the Pathology Technician rate of pay for its two members. The Union is also seeking an on-call allowance for the claimants.
Management rejected the Union's claim.
As agreement was not possible, the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 3rd October, 2002, but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 16th October, 2002 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 29th November, 2002.
3. 1. Discussions have taken place with management seeking to address the issue of the date of pay and to give recognition to the on-call service facility provided by the workers.
2. Management has acknowledged that the claimants provide the specific expertise in attending at postmortem procedures and the on-call service facility, but have failed to address the pay issues.
3. The precedent has been established in other hospitals providing similar services that staff attending at postmortem procedures receive the Pathology Technician rate of pay.
4. An on-call allowance should apply to the claimants which reflects the commitment given outside of their working hours and is in line with on-call allowance payments applied in the Health Service.
4. 1. The Department of Health and Children advised that the allowance was not applicable because Cavan General Hospital did not meet the criteria of 150 postmortems, and the staff in question spend less than 10% of their time at such duties.
2. There is no statutory obligation on management to provide this service except for hospital cases only. The responsibility for this rests with the County Coroner. Management obliges the coroner's office with this facility.
3. The Board offered to put the claimants on the sixth point of the Pathology Technician rate of pay pro-rata for the hours worked in the mortuary. However, this was rejected.
4. The Board reviewed the arrangements in a number of other hospitals and found that the allowance of €27.53 paid to the claimants compared favourably with other locations nationally
The Court notes that at conciliation the Board offered the Pathology Technician rate at the sixth point of the scale in pro rata for the time worked in the mortuary
The Court recommends that the Board modify its offer to pay the Pathology Technician rate at the highest point of the scale in respect of time worked at mortuary duties, provided that the amount payable in respect of any twelve month period would not fall below the allowance currently payable.
The revised allowance should apply with effect from the date of acceptance of this recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
_13th December, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.