INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
THE JEWISH HOME OF IRELAND
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH NURSES ORGANISATION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Pay parity with the Public Health Sector.
2. The home is a privately run nursing home which provides residential care for elderly members of the Jewish Community in Ireland. There are presently 39 residents and 42 members of staff, 10 of whom are nurses. The Union lodged a claim on behalf of its members for parity with public sector rates of pay and terms and conditions of nurses employed in the public sector.
Discussions took place locally but as no agreement could be reached, the matter was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 17th of January, 2002. As no agreement was reached, the matter was referred to the Labour Court on the 6th of February, 2002, under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 25th of April, 2002.
3. 1. Some of the nurses employed at the home are at a considerable loss of earnings.
2. The employer has considerable assets and properties and receives donations from individuals.
3. All the nurses in the home work in a specialist area and additional allowances should be paid.
4. The employer has implemented the Report of the Commission on Nursing.
4. 1. The home has incurred considerable losses for the years ending 2000 and 2001, and the concession of this claim would greatly affect its future viability.
2. The home is financially unable to pay the 2% due under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness and could not countenance pay increases which cost the home in the region of €132,633.
3 The home is a voluntary non-profit making organisation which does not receive direct funding from the Department of Health or any Government Agency and cannot afford to pay public sector rates.
4. The claim is cost increasing in the light of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
The Court is satisfied that the rates of pay and other conditions applicable to nurses employed by the Health Boards provide an appropriate comparator in the case of those associated with the present claim. In that regard, the Court notes that the Home aspires to paying rates and allowances in line with those of the Health Boards, but claims that it's economic circumstances are such as to render that impossible at this time.
The Home has agreed to make copies of it's accounts available to the Union so as to demonstrate it's current financial position. Further, the management of the Home have indicated to the Court that it is in discussions with the Health Board on the question of direct subvention.
Having regard to all the circumstances of this case, the Court recommends that when the Union has had an opportunity to consider the Home's accounts, the parties should meet to discuss ways in which the costs of meeting the claim, in whole or in part, could be met. The parties should also have regard to the outcome of the current discussions between the Home and the Health Board.
Should the parties fail to reach agreement within a period of three months, the matter may be referred back to the Court for a definitive recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
13th May, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.