INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ST. LUKE'S ACUTE PSYCHIATRIC UNIT
(REPRESENTED BY SOUTH EASTERN HEALTH BOARD)
- AND -
IRISH MEDICAL ORGANISATION.
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Relocation Of Acute Psychiatric Services
2. The South Eastern Health Board concluded the relocation of acute psychiatric services from St. Canice's Hospital, Kilkenny and St. Dympna's Hospital Carlow to St. Lukes Hospital, Kilkenny in March 2003. The Board agreed a compensation package for permanent members of staff who were affected by the move while Non Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHD's) on temporary contracts were not included. The Union represents 10 NCHD's who were subject to the move. The Board felt that this group was not entitled to a relocation sum as they are on short-term duration contracts. The Union contend that the workers are entitled to compensation as they are subject to the same effort and inconvenience in the preparations for the move as were permanent workers.
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 23rd April, 2004 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 30th September, 2004.
3.1 The NCHD's were obliged to relocate, without consultation and undertook (i) change in work location (ii) changes in patient settings.
2. The Union was not afforded any representation rights on behalf of the NCHD workers, while discussions were held with other unions representing permanent staff on the proposed relocation.
3. Relocation sums were paid to NCHD's in accordance with an agreement between the Board and another Union following a relocation process between a psychiatric service in St. Mary's Hospital, Ennis to Ennis General Hospital, following a Rights Commissioners recommendation on the matter in November 2002.
4. Relocation sums were also paid to NCHD's following the closure of St. Lomans Psychiatric Hospital, in Palmerstown to Tallaght Hospital in August 1999.
4.1 A move from one location to another in the Mental Health Service is not without precedent. The final agreement for the transfer of acute mental health services detailed in the Labour Relations Commission document dated 22nd November, 2002 for Carlow and 10th December, 2002 for Kilkenny and the most recent version the Castlerea Formula. This formula has been used time and time again for such moves.
2. Payments were made under a recognised formula to all staff with permanent assignments.
3. NCHD's do not come under this type of employment, theirs is a rotational training posting that changes on a 6 monthly basis.
4. No payments were made to any grade of staff that did not have a permanent assignment, ie. training, temporary or locum staff, in line with existing methods for dealing with the issue of relocation compensation of the time.
5. Issues effecting their deployment have been dealt with and agreements entered into.
This claim is, in effect, for the application of what has become known as the Castlerea Formula to Non Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHD'S). This formula is applicable only in cases where staff who are permanently employed within a service are relocated. It has never been applied to NCHD's who are not permanently assigned to a particular location.
In these circumstances the Court does not recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.