INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
EAST COAST AREA HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH NURSES ORGANISATION)
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR16283/03/TB & IR16284/03/TB.
2. The appeal concerns two nurses who were employed by the former Eastern Health Board and assigned to the Rathmines Health Centre. In the establishment of the ERHA new location boundaries for the three Area Health Boards were redrawn. The claimants were moved from Rathmines to St Broc's in Clonskeagh. The Union submitted a claim for 10 days annual leave and €4,000. Management rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 26th April, 2004 the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:
"I recommend that each of the claimants be paid €1,000 for their cooperation in dealing with the operational difficulties, which have occurred as a result of the move.
I further recommend that both parties should meet to discuss and resolve the operational issues, which have been identified."
On the 20th May, 2004 the Board appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court. The Court heard the appeal on the 23rd September, 2004.
3. 1. The claimants have been compensated for the change required by way of 4 days leave and by the pay increases and the terms of the Benchmarking and Sustaining Progress Agreements.
2. The terms and conditions of staff in the Health Board provide that they may be required to change work location in accordance with service needs. Staff are not compensated for such moves.
3. Concession of the claim would have major cost increasing implications for all health boards
4. Management disputes the nature and extent and scope of the alleged operational difficulties.
4. 1. The claimants have encountered significant difficulties and changes as a result of the move. They encounter additional challenges on a daily basis. They have to undertake numerous extra home visits to assure a comprehensive service and quality nursing care.They are now required to travel to a new office location and then onto a clinic which is not easily accessible.The changes involved will require careful forward planning, skilled time management, increased stress, added travel and parking problems.
2. The claimants have endured a badly planned and stressful move to inadequate facilities at multi locations which has led to a more difficult and uncertain working environment. They have maintained a normal service delivery during the difficult episode, often inconveniencing themselves to do so.
Having examined the written and oral submissions of the parties, the Court finds that, in the disputed circumstances of this particular case, the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation should be upheld and the appeal dismissed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th October, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.