INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
ST. JOHN'S HOSPITAL
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH NURSES' ORGANISATION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Rotation of two nursing managers (CNM11's) within St. John's Hospital.
2. The hearing before the Court concerns a decision by management to rotate Clinical Nurse Managers Grade11(CMN11's) between the three floors of the hospital. The Union states that in 1980 the claimants applied for specific posts and were appointed to particular areas of the hospital. The Union claims that these posts were site specific as it was not the practice to rotate ward sisters. The Union argues that the claimants should not have to rotate from one ward to another. The Union is seeking (a) the restoration of the claimants to their respective original work locations, and (b) compensation to each claimant for the distress and anxiety caused to them.
Management rejected the Union's claim and stated that the two staff members were appointed to the Hospital and not to any specific area within the Hospital
The Union referred the dispute to the Labour Court on the 3rd January, 2003, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. The Court investigated the dispute on the 25th June, 2003.
3. 1. The claimants competed for and were duly awarded positions in specific working areas in the hospital and have a contractual arrangement which provides for them continuing employment in those areas.
2. The members concerned were forced to transfer to alternative wards as per nursing director's instructions as the employers refused to accede to the Union's request to maintain the status quo.
3. At the time of their appointment it was understood that ward sisters did not rotate and consequently it was an implied term of their contract of employment that the appointments were site specific.
4. The claimants have worked in excess of twenty years on their respective floors without inference of a wider commitment to redeployment further illustrating the nature of their site specific contracts.
4. 1.Management decided to rotate CNM11's within the hospital in the interest of allowing staff to bring the benefit of their different experiences to other areas and also to provide them with variety and new experiences of their own.
2.There are no contracts or documentation in the possession of management which indicate that either staff member was appointed specifically to any particular area of the hospital.
3. Management believe that it has acted in a reasonable manner in rotating the staff concerned between different areas of the hospital. The practice of rotating staff is one which provides benefits to staff and patients alike.
4. Any concession of the claim will have negative repercussions in relation to existing rotational arrangements as well as having the effect of restricting the ability of management to manage nursing resources.
The Court has considered all aspects of this case. The Court notes that the requirement for CNM11's to rotate floors within St. John's Hospital was intended to ensure ongoing staff development, and to further an enhancement of personal knowledge and skills. The Court is of the view that was not an unreasonable request and was within the realm of management's right to manage. Therefore, the Court does not recommend concession of the claims.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th July, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.