INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HSE SOUTH EAST
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Elimination of on-call.
2. The Ambulance Service in the South East operates on a 24 hour basis, providing it's service 24 hours a day over 365 days a year. In the past this meant that Ambulance Personnel committed to providing an on-call service over and beyond their normal 39 hour working day.
A review of the Ambulance Service in 1993 recommended the abolition of on-call and the introduction of 24-hour rosters. In the 1996 pay agreement for Ambulance Personnel the Union accepted the recommendations of the Review in order to gain their pay increases. The 1999 Report of the Working Group on Ambulance Service Review also recommended the abolition of on-call.
On-call has now been eliminated from most ambulance stations in the south east. Nowhere was there a payment for loss of earnings applied for providing this improvement to the Health & Safety of the Ambulance Personnel [Emergency Medical Technician - (EMT's)] involved.
However, in the case of Wexford and Kilkenny there was a refusal to negotiate new rosters until such time as a loss of earnings claim was dealt with.
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 21st April, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 20th October, 2005.
3. 1.The on-call allowance has been in place over many years and our members have depended on its inclusion within their normal remuneration.
2. With the loss of the on-call allowance our members pension will be affected.
4. 1.Management introduced the 24 hour roster to replace the on-call system which was seen as a serious Health & Safety issue.
2. EMT's nationally have been paid in lieu of new work practices in every pay deal since the 1990's. These same EMT's will now not have to work the long periods that they are currently working to earn what they were earning before these recent increases.
The dispute before the Court relates to a claim on behalf of EMT's for compensation for the loss of earnings which the Union submit will occur due to the elimination of an on-call arrangement.
The Court notes that there will be a long-term loss in superannuation entitlements arising from the pensionable nature of the on-call allowance concerned. Therefore, the Court recommends that this aspect of the loss should be addressed by the payment of compensation of twice the annual loss of the on-call allowance.
The Court notes that overtime will not be eliminated with the abolition of on-call and consequently, does not recommend in favour of the loss of on-call overtime.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th November, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.