INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
S2(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2001,
AS AMENDED BY THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS(MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT, 2004
WESTERN HEALTH BOARD (UCHG)
(REPRESENTED BY WILLIAM B. GLYNN, SOLICITORS)
- AND -
INDEPENDENT WORKERS UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Referral from the Labour Relations Commission under the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001, as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004.
2. The dispute concerns two Grade 1 Chefs who were employed by the Western Health Board (WHB) in the catering department at University College Hospital Galway in May 1994 and August, 1995 respectively. In July, 1996 Management decided to privatise the catering department. Under an agreement at that time a number of WHB staff were seconded to a contract catering company but retained their WHB terms and conditions of service, including the two claimants. The Union contends that the full implementation of a Report of the Expert Group on Cooks in the Health Service (October, 2000) requires the Board to appoint a Senior Chef from the Grade 1 Chefs. The Union claims that the Report directly impacts on the conditions of employment of the two workers in that they were never afforded an opportunity of regrading due to them under the Cooks Report. The Union claims that, despite numerous requests, the Board failed to implement the Report. The Union sought to engage in discussions with Management but the Board refused to do so on the basis that, while it undertakes collective bargaining with a number of unions representing the vast majority of staff, it does not recognise the IWU for collective bargaining purposes.
As the dispute could not be dealt with through the normal industrial relations processes, it was referred to the Advisory Services of the Labour Relations Commission under S.I No 76 of 2004. Both parties participated in this procedure but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 11th January, 2005 in accordance with Section 2 of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001 as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004. A Labour Court hearing was held on the 16th February, 2005.
In its reply to the questionnaire regarding the statutory preconditions under the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001, as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004, the Union confirmed that it is the practice of the Employer to engage in collective bargaining negotiations in respect of the (grade, group or category of) workers who are party to the trade dispute. This was confirmed at the hearing by the Union. Accordingly the Court has no jurisdiction to hear the case in question, and so finds.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th February, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.