INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ST. BERNARD GROUP HOMES - FETHARD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Implementation of national agreements on annual leave and unsocial hours premium.
2. St. Bernard's Group Homes is a Health Agency and has been located in Fethard, Co. Tipperary since 1975. It provides care and support to children who have suffered abuse. The agency is 100% funded by the South Eastern Health Board (SEHB). The Union's claim is on behalf of Childcare Workers and Childcare Leaders in the Agency, and is for additional annual leave entitlements and an unsocial hours premium for hours between 18.00 and 20.00, agreement on which was reached with the Health Service Employers' Agency (HSEA) in 2001 and 2002 respectively. There is no real dispute between the parties. The problem is that the Agency has not received funding for the claim from the S.E.H.B. and cannot afford to self-fund the payments.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As agreement could not be reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 30th of October, 2003, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd of December, in Thurles.
3. 1. The 2 issues involved were agreed under the auspices of the Expert Group report and have been "signed off" by both the Department of Health and the S.E.H.B.
2. The S.E.H.B. has applied the annual leave and the premium payments to its own Childcare staff, as have all other Health Boards.
3. Organisations similar to St. Bernard's, and directly funded by the SEHB or other health boards, are in receipt of both entitlements.
4. 1.All other terms and conditions of employment due to these workers have been implemented and fully funded by the S.E.H.B.
2. The SEHB is on record as saying that it has not received the funding for the 2 payments from the Department of Health and Children.
2. It would cost the Agency €119,000 to implement the claim for the period 2001-2003 inclusive. The agency does not have the financial means to self-fund these payments.
Having considered the submissions of both parties, the Court notes that national agreements were reached between HSEA and IMPACT in relation to payment of unsocial hours premium in 2000, and in 2001 in relation to increasing annual leave entitlements for child care workers employed by Health Boards. The Court notes that this organisation is fully funded by the South Eastern Health Board and, accordingly, can see no reason why the agreement should not be fully implemented.
The Court recommends that the agency should fully implement these agreements without any further delay.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th December, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.