INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ARD AOIBHINN CENTRE/AN BREACADH NUA
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. 1. Houseparent's rate. 2. Nursing Staff sick leave. 3. Care Assistants' hours of work.
2. In 1995, 2 centres caring for people with disabilities, St. Michael's and St. Clare's, merged to form An Breacadh Nua. The Ard Aoibhinn Centre, a purpose built facility catering for people with special needs was opened early that year. The Centre can cater for up to 60 clients who are admitted through referral from the South Eastern Health Board (S.E.H.B.) which partly funds the Centre. The Union's 3 claims are as follows:-
Houseparents: The claim relates to 2 full-time and 1 part-time Houseparents. These workers are paid 80% of the national rate for Houseparents. The Union is seeking the full 100% rate of pay.
(In 1998, the Union sought the full rate but this was rejected in LCR15940).
Nursing staff sick leave: The Union is seeking the application of the sick leave arrangements as per the conditions of nurses nationally. There are 8 nurses involved in the claim.
Care Assistants: These workers are paid on an hourly rate basis at the national agreed rate for Care Assistants. The Union is seeking the full weekly wage.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place on the 3rd of April, 2001. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 22nd of May, 2001. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 5th of March, 2002, in Waterford, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. House parents: There have been significant changes in the role of the House parents since LCR15940 issued in 1998. (The Union supplied a list of additional duties done by Houseparents). In view of the additional responsibilities, the claim for the 100% rate is justified.
2. Nursing Staff sick leave: In April, 2000, the Union served strike notice over 4 issues - parity of allowance, annual leave, overtime premia and sick leave. Following a meeting, the first 3 of these issues were fully implemented as per the National Nursing agreement . Sick leave is an integral part of the agreement and should be conceded.
3. Care Assistants: The Centre has engaged a Special Needs Assistant (formerly Classroom Assistant) who does the same work and the same amount of hours but is paid the full weekly rate. This is a source of anger for the Care Assistants.
4. 1. Houseparents: The Centre agreed to provide an additional residential group home service in 1997 on the condition that it would not have adverse financial implication for An Breacadh Nua. The S.E.H.B. made it clear that 80% of the qualified houseparent rate in the Health Board is the rate applying to Houseparents in the Centre. This claim was already rejected in LCR15940.
2. Nursing staff sick leave: Nurses in An Breacadh Nua are not employed by the Health Board, and any concession would have implications for all staff of An Breacadh Nua.
3. Care Assistants: There are Care Assistants and Special Needs Assistants working in An Breacadh Nua. However, the Special Needs Assistants are actually employed by St. Patrick's Special School, Enniscorthy on an outreach basis and are paid by the Department of Education. There are some Care Assistants who work 33 - 34 hours per week and some who work 39 hours per week. If the Union's claim were to be conceded, it would mean Care Assistants working for 34 hours per week but being paid for 39 hours.
The Court recommends as follows in relation to each of the Union's claim:-
The Court believes that there may be merit in the Union's claim for parity in pay between House Parents in centres directly funded by Health Board, and those employed in Health Board centres. However, the question of funding is central to an ultimate resolution of any anomaly identified.
For that reason, the question of establishing an appropriate rate for House Parents in private care services should be addressed in a national forum. The Court recommends that such an approach should now be explored. In the interim, the Court recommends that the claimants in the present case should have their rate of pay increased to 90% of the Health Board rate.
The Court recommends that this claim be conceded.
The Court does not recommend concession of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th March, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.