INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ST. JOHN OF GOD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH NURSES ORGANISATION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Failure to implement 7 X CNS posts, St. Mary's Centre, Drumcar
2. St. John of God is a private enterprise run by the Brothers of John of God. The claim before the Court refers to the non-implementation of seven Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) posts in the St. John of God Order in St. Mary's, Drumcar, a location which received partial funding from the North Eastern Health Board. In 2002 Management sought and received approval for the posts in Drumcar from the National Council and the Director of Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit. The Union is seeking to have the posts implemented but Management maintain that they are unable to get the funding to have the positions filled.
- 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 19th May, 2004, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17th August, 2004, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The Order can fund these posts from it's own resources and seek the payment from the NEHB or other funders. No documented proof of the Order's effort to seek funding has been witnessed.
2. The Union would consider a phased approach for implementation of the grade.
3. The Union cannot accept that financial constraints is a suitable argument in this case.
4. 1. The Order has no control over the decision of the NEHB to provide the funding for the seven CNS positions and therefore cannot concede to this claim. The Union is fully aware of this fact.
2. The Order has no funds of its own to create the CNS posts and has significantly overspent the available budget for the current year.
3. The Order submitted an application for the seven posts as part of its service level agreement with the NEHB through the submission of a service plan for 2003 and 2004.
The Court notes that both the Order and the Union agree that there is an urgent operational need for the seven CNS posts at issue. However the Order is dependent on Health Board funding for all its staffing needs and funding has not been approved for these posts.
Having carefully considered all aspects of the case the Court is fully satisfied that the seven posts re required in order to safeguard the health and safety of staff and to maintain an acceptable quality of patient care. In these circumstances the Court cannot condone the continuing failure to fill the posts. The Court does fully appreciate the difficulties in which the Order finds itself and accepts that it cannot be reasonably expected to fund the posts out of its own resources.
Having regard to all circumstances of the case the Court recommends that the Order and the Union should establish a joint working group to put in place arrangements by which the posts in question can be filled over a period of not more than two years. This working group should work closely with the relevant funding agencies to obtain the necessary funding to achieve this objective.
Should any further difficulties arise in relation to the implementation of this recommendation it may be referred back to the Court for further consideration.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th September 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.