INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DUBLIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH NURSES' ORGANISATION (INO)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Claim for (1.) Permanency, (2.) Access to Pension Scheme and (3.)Access to Sick Pay Scheme.
2. The dispute before the Court relates to a claim by the Union on behalf of four part-time temporary nursing staff employed in the Dublin Institute of Technology on the issues of permancey, access to pension and access to sick leave.
The Union claims that the four nurses involved in the claim have been employed with D.I.T. for periods of between three and seven years. It states that it has an agreement with the Department of Education and the Council of Directors of the Institute of Technology for the employment of college nurses and the terms and conditions of employment for such posts. The Union claims that D.I.T. were given approval for 2 nursing posts but decided on two additional student counsellor posts instead.
Management states that it has a duty in relation to prioritising the offering of permanent posts to staff, within the limits laid down by the Department of Education and Science. A decision was taken by the Institute to fill permanent positions in the Student Counselling area rather than the nursing area, on the basis of actual need.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. Conciliation conferences were held on the 1st and 3rd of October 2002. The Industrial Relations Officer put forward proposals on a number of issues to resolve the dispute. However, agreement was not reached in relation to the issues now before the Court. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 4th October 2002 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 16th October 2002.
3. 1 The nurses concerned have been employed with the Dublin Institute of Technology for periods of between three and seven years. Their employment should be made permanent.
2. Under the Protection of Workers (Part-Time) Act, 2001, these temporary part-time college nurses are entitled to equal treatment with the established position of college nurse within the information technology sector.
3. Concession of the claim involves no issue of principle or finance for the Institute.
4. The nurses in this claim are entitled to permancey under circular letter 24/01. It was discriminatory on the part of the D.I.T. to have exchanged their sanctioned Posts in favour of another group.
4. 1. The Institute decided to fill permanent positions in the Student Counselling area rather than the nursing area on the basis of need.
2. Non-permanent staff in the Institute such as the claimants are not at present entitled to become members of the pension scheme.
3. It is not possible to alter the terms and conditions of employment of staff without approval from the Minister.
4. The Court will be aware of pending legislation which should give temporary employees on fixed term contracts entitlements to pro-rata terms and conditions
of employment as permanent staff.
5. Dublin Institute of Technology believes that it has at all times acted properly and fairly, within the constraints applying to it, in relation to the issue before the Court.
It is the Court's view that in the circumstances of this case a practical compromise should be adopted to resolve the dispute between the parties. The Court, therefore, recommends that the offer made at conciliation should be modified so as to provide:
1. That before the end of the current year 2 nurses should be made permanent.
2. That before the end of 2003, or such earlier period during that year as may be agreed, the 2 remaining nurses should be made permanent.
The appointment to permanent posts should be on a seniority basis.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th November, 2002______________________
L.W./ B.R.Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.