INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & CHILDREN
(REPRESENTED BY HSEA)
- AND -
IRISH NURSES ORGANISATION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Grade restructuring.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the INO and the Dept Health and Children (represented by the HSEA) in relation to a claim for parity between Nurse Educators in the Midwifery and Paediatric fields of nursing and the General, Psychiatric and Intellectual Disability fields which had previously transferred to the third level education sector in 2002.
The Union are claiming a once off lump sum payment as the delay in moving to the third level education sector for the claimants has resulted in a loss of earnings.
Management's position is that no commitment had been given to the claimants on transferring to the third level sector so the claim is not valid.
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 11th of February, 2005 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17th of November, 2005, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The claimants were identified to transfer to the third level education sector but the Department refused to fund the transfer. It is unacceptable that this group incur a loss of earnings as a result.
2. High quality programmes continue to be delivered by this group, despitebeing treated less favourably than their colleagues who enjoy more favourable terms and conditions.
3. It is expected that this issue will be dealt with from September 2006, but it will not compensate the claimants who have incurred losses of earnings ranging from €22,800 to €25,000.
4. 1. No commitment has yet been given to Nurse Educators in the field of Paediatrics andMidwifery. It is, therefore, inappropriate to claim parity with other groups doing completely different work.
2. It is expected that this group will be transferred to the third level sector from September, 2006. The appropriate pay scales and conditions of employment will be applied at that time.
3. The claim is cost increasing and precluded under the Sustaining Progress Agreement.
While the Court does not accept that compensation of the amount claimed is warranted it is, nonetheless, satisfied that there is some merit in the arguments advanced by the Union.
Having regard to all the circumstances of the case the Court recommends that on the implementation of the new arrangements, and on actual transfer to a third level institution, each claimant should receive a once-off lump sum equal to once the difference between their annual salary immediately before transfer and the annual salary to which they are assimilated. This should be accepted in full and final settlement of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th December, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.