INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ST COLUMBA'S CENTRE
(REPRESENTED BY HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE )
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Enhanced redundancy.
2. St Columba’s Day Care Centre was established in 1977 to provide a service for children of the Travellers Community who were at risk and vulnerable to neglect and abuse. It was managed by a voluntary Board of Management and funded by the former Health Board. It employed a staff of seven. A primary school was managed and funded by the Department of Education and Science.
In August 2004 the Department of Education and Science notified the Management of the Day Care Centre that the school would be closing with effect from June 2005. As a result of this the Health Services Executive notified the Board of Management that the Day Care Centre, which supported the children attending the school, would also cease at the same time. Staff of the Day Care Centre were informed that they would be made redundant at the end of the school year.
The Health Services executive agreed to provide sufficient funding to pay statutory redundancy to all the employees affected and also agreed to offer additional financial support towards retraining. This was rejected.
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 7th November, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 27th January, 2006.
3. 1.The norm across the sector would primarily consist of redeployment or otherwise agreed severance terms.
2. Packages more favourable than what the Union are currently seeking were agreed in respect of other similar organisations previously.
3. The Union claim, which is very reasonable, is for 4 weeks pay per year of service, inclusive of statutory redundancy, for each employee.
4. 1. The Health Services Executive funding ceased in July 2005 and as such no funding is available to the Board of Management. The Board of Management is essentially defunct at present.
2. The employees are not employed by the Health Services Executive and do not form part of their compliment of staff and therefore no budget exists.
3. The Health Services Executive are prepared to honour any commitments given to the Board of Management but cannot make any provision beyond that.
The St Columba's Centre and its staff have provided a necessary and valuable social service over many years to vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society. That service was delivered by those associated with the present claim on behalf of the State which provided the necessary funding to the centre. Due to a National policy decision the mode of delivering that service has now been changed as a result of which the Employer has become defunct and the claimants made redundant.
All parties accept that the Union's claim is reasonable and has merit. The only impediment to its concession is the failure of the appropriate public authority to made the necessary funding available. In these circumstances, and having regard to the background against which the redundancies arose, the Court would regard it as indefensible for the claimants to be left without a reasonable settlement.
The Court has no hesitation in recommending that the Union's claim be conceded and strongly urges the appropriate authorities to make the necessary funding available.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th January, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.