INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
SOUTH EASTERN HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Pay rate for jobs initiative employees.
2. The Union claims that the participants on the jobs initiative scheme should receive the non-nursing group 1 rate for the job, this is the rate paid to part-time home helps employed by the Board. The Union claims that there is a difference of approximately two euros in the rates of pay for those on the jobs initiative scheme and that paid to general operatives employed by the Board. It also states that two local authorities in Wexford pay the General Operative rate to participants in the scheme. The claim is to seek the Group 1 rate for the care workers and the appropriate clerical rate for the supervisor and clerical person. The scheme is due to end in January, 2003.
Management rejected the Union's claim and stated that it did not have the resources to "top-up" the salaries of the participants.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. Conciliation conferences were held on the 21st November, 2001 and on the 11th April, 2002 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 17th April, 2002 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 22nd October, 2002 (the earliest date suitable to the parties).
3. 1. The workers on the scheme should be paid the same minimum rate as workers employed by the Board.
2. The same restructure arose in two local authorities in Wexford which affected workers in a similar manner. The two local authorities concerned placed these workers on the same rate of pay as their full-time employees doing similar duties.
3. There is no justification for paying different rates of pay to workers doing similar work.
4. 1. The work carried out by the participants is work which would remain undone because of the lack of resources and the Board is unable to commit any monies other than that which can be recouped from Fás.
2. The Board set out the rate to be paid for the participants which was 88% of the total grant provided by Fás, with the remaining 12% of the grant being utilised for training/development and overheads as agreed with Fás.
3. Home helps are employed on a part-time basis and are not guaranteed 39 hours per week.
4. The Board does not have the resources to "top-up" the wages of the participants. It was never the intention of the Board that rates of pay for participants would be in excess of the grant given by Fás.
The Court notes that the agreed operational guidelines issued by for Fás on the Job Initiative Scheme provides that participants should receive a rate for the job. The guidelines further provide that in striking the rate regard should be had to all relevant factors including pay rates for comparable jobs which may exist. It is noted that both Local Authorities in Wexford pay the General Operative rate to participants in the scheme.
The guidelines further provide that trade Union agreement should be sought for the proposal. In this case no such approval was sought.
The Court accepts that the job of Care-Worker is an appropriate comparator for the purpose of the scheme and represents the rate for the job within the meaning of the national guidelines. The Court further accepts that the clerical rate claimed is appropriate to the supervisor and clerical jobs. Accordingly the Court recommends that the Union's claim be conceded.
Having regard to all the circumstances the Court recommends that the rate be adjusted with effect from 1st January 2002.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th November, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.