INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
SOUTHERN HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
PSYCHIATRIC NURSES ASSOCIATION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Relocation allowance
2. The dispute relates to a claim by SIPTU and PNA for a relocation payment to be made to 10 nursing staff (SIPTU - 8 and PNA - 2) who have moved to a new high support hostel in Listowel, Co. Kerry. The Unions are seeking compensation of €2,320 for each member. This amount is in line with payments outlined in the Castlerea Formula, Labour Court Recommendation (LCR 14518), which the Unions maintain is commonly used on a National basis to assess compensation for such moves.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 29th April, 2003 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 16th July, 2003.
3.1 Staff who relocate from Tralee Acute Unit are entitled to relocation payments as demonstrated in AD 0154 where the Southern Health Board recognised the right of a nurse, transferring from the Acute Unit to a Day Centre to be paid the Castlerea Formula.
2. The fact that some staff have been recruited to the Kerry Mental Health Services does not debar them from relocation payments. Staff recruited to the Clare Mental Health Service, Carlow/Kilkenny Mental Services, Cork Mental Services, West Dublin Mental Health Services have all been paid this relocation payment.
3. A precedent has already been set in Carlow/Kilkenny where additional payments were made to nurses who had already received the Castlerea Formula. It is appropriate that these nurses should receive at least the same payment as their colleagues in Carlow/Kilkenny who had already received the Castlerea formula.
HEALTH BOARD'S ARGUMENTS:
4.1 The terms of the Castlerea Formula are quite specific in that it is payable to staff who are relocated to facilitate the closure of a parent hospital or the development of community services.
2. Staff had sought to be facilitated with the transfers to the new service in Listowel. The Castlerea Formula is the method used in determining eligibility for relocation pay. The vast majority of staff who transferred from the Acute Unit in Tralee to the new service did not qualify under the Castlerea Formula for any relocation package.
3. All staff who transferred to the new facility were already employed in the Kerry Mental Health Service.
4. The Board currently have a number of staff wishing to avail of lateral transfer from various Mental Health Services in Cork and Kerry. These staff have the potential to be rostered within the Kerry Mental Health Services. These staff do not have the potential for a relocation payment.
5. The Board does not see merit in the claim on the basis that the majority of staff who are now working in Listowel have previously been compensated under various packages and aspects of the Castlerea Formula, Labour Court Recommendation (LCR 14518).
The Union's argue that the Castlerea Formula agreed in 1990/1991 has been applied in a flexible way over the years and currently bears no resemblance to the original format.
Management is adamant that the formula has been applied as originally drafted and argued that cases cited by the Union as being outside the rules had been dealt with within the Formula.
The Court believes the Castlerea Formula to be the bedrock for payment of a relocation allowance.
After considering the written and oral submissions made by the parties, the Court does not find that the claimants are entitled to the compensation payments under the Castlerea Formula.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd July, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.