INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
EASTERN REGIONAL HEALTH AUTHORITY
(REPRESENTED BY SOUTH WESTERN AREA HEALTH BOARD)
- AND -
IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Travelling time agreement
2. The dispute relates to 18 craft personnel working for the Eastern Regional Health Authority. The Union are claiming the worker's Base is at Cherry Orchard, Dublin 10, and as such, the application of travelling time, as specified in Labour Court Recommendation LCR5102 should apply to them. In effect this would see the workers receive a minimum 1 hour travelling time per day.
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 27th August, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3.1The claimants at Naas Hospital are the only staff from the Cherry Orchard Engineering Base who are not in receipt of travelling time allowance.
2. Travel time and minimum bus fares are paid to craftsmen (except electricians) employed by the Eastern Health Board in the Dublin area, in accordance with the Dublin Working Rule Agreement, Heating & Ventilating Contractors Agreement (H.D.V.A.) since February 1982. This means that the craftsman are in receipt of a minimum of one hour travelling time plus minimum bus fare paid since 1st April 1981.
3. Each Base has an Engineering Manager who has overall responsibility and control for all maintenance staff within the Base. There are 4 Engineering Bases, (1) Cherry Orchard, Dublin 10, (2) Clonskeagh, Dublin 6, (3) St. Brendan's, Dublin 7, (4) St. Ita's Co. Dublin.
4.1 The Dublin Working Rule Agreement defines its area of application in Clause (1) as follows: "The area to which this agreement applies shall be the City of Dublin, the Administrative County of Dublin and the Urban District of Bray". The agreement is quite clear and prohibits the extension of the agreement outside the areas specified above.
2. Whilst the administrative headquarters for the Engineering department in Naas remains Cherry Orchard, the staff involved have never been engaged in duties in Dublin and therefore cannot be encompassed by the Agreement. The staff at the Naas location were interviewed specifically for Naas and have not been utilized in Dublin at any time.
3. The subject of Travel Time outside the Dublin Area has been the subject of Labour Court Recommendation LCR 17502. A further Labour Court hearing took place and a recommendation on this issue is being awaited. The South Western Area Health Board (SWAHB) sought a deferral on the basis that this claim cannot be dealt with in isolation.
4. TheSWAHB's position is that there have been no changes since the Labour Court recommendation LCR11055 in 1987 when the issue was dealt with in full. Naas remains in Co. Kildare and the craft workers engaged there only work in the Kildare/West Wicklow area.
The Court accepts that there is an administrative linkage to the Cherry Orchard Base and that on this basis the Union claim they are entitled to travel time for the Dublin Region.
While there is an administrative linkage to Cherry Orchard, the Court does not believe it justifies payment of the Dublin travel time allowance to the workers who have never worked in the Dublin area, and who have never actually been in the Cherry Orchard Base.
The Court therefore rejects the claim in this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th October, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.