INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
MIDLAND HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. CHL PAS allowance.
2. The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of six theatre porters employed at Tullamore General Hospital for payment of an allowance for using the computerised system for retrieving patients' charts (CHL PAS system).
The Board states that the workers concerned are receiving Group IV rate of pay and the operation of the CHL PAS system comes within the range of duties relevant to this group. The Union argues that the workers have taken on extra duties by using the system and should be paid accordingly.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 19th of November, 2001, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 11th of June, 2002, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1.If some workers are already at Group IV rates of pay because they carry out other additional duties, that is no reason why they should not be paid for the CHL PAS duties which they are expected to take on.
2. The cost implications of this claim are negligible. Concession of this very small claim for the small number of workers concerned would allow for the introduction of a system which would greatly improve patient care.
4. 1. Under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (PCW), the Unions and management signed up to a range of productivity measures including cooperation with new technology.
2. The operation of the CHL PAS system falls within the broad range and scope of duties expected of Group IV porters. Therefore, they are not entitled to an allowance.
The Court notes that the use of the CHL PAS system is not included in the range of duties specified in respect of Group IV porters. Furthermore, it is noted that the use of this system was regarded as meriting the increase claimed (and the once-off increase in annual leave) in the case of Group 1 porters.
Having regard to all the circumstances of this case and on the basis that it will not be used or quoted as a precedent to process or support any other claim, the Court regards the Union's claim as reasonable and recommends its concession.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th June, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.