INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
H.S.E. SOUTH EAST
- AND -
PSYCHIATRIC NURSES' ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Payment of allowance and eligible nurses in St. Aidan's Ward from Nov '99 & Dec '03.
2. Following the settlement of the Nurses' dispute in 1999 a number of new allowances were introduced, one of which was the Location Allowance which is the subject of the present Union claim. The Location Allowance was paid in the Psychiatric Services to Nurses who worked in:-
- Acute admissions in Mental Health Services
- Secure Units in Mental Health Services.
In February, 2002, the Union had discussions with the (then) HSEA on a number of issues, including the application of the Location Allowance where the Union felt that units had qualified for the Allowance. One of the units was St. Aidan's Ward in Waterford. Following two reviews in the Mental Health Services it was decided that the Allowance would be extended to St. Aidan's effective from the 1st of January, 2004. The Union, however, believes that the allowance should have applied from November, 1999, to December, 2003, and is now seeking retrospection for that period.
The Union referred the case to the Labour Court on the 23rd of August, 2005, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd of June, 2006, in Waterford.
3. 1. The Union believes that St. Aidan's met the qualifying criteria on the first occasion, i.e. November, 1999, and should have received the allowance from that time.
2. The Waterford Psychiatric Service outlined its desire to reduce the number of beds in St. Aidan's from 24 to 12 by 1995 due to the difficult nature of the work. However, the number of beds is still 24 as it was in 1991.
4. 1. St. Aidan's Ward is an Alzheimer Unit and, as such, it did not attract the Location Allowance as it was not one of the specifically identified areas following the Nurses' dispute in 1999. This was made clear by the HSEA in March, 2000.
2. Following a number of reviews management extended the Location Allowance to a number of specified areas, including St. Aidan's, in July, 2004, and backdated it to January, 2004. This should have resolved all claims that the Union had for the extension of the Location Allowance.
Having carefully considered the submissions of the parties, and noting the history of the matter, in particular the resolution of the 2002/2003 industrial dispute and the existence and terms of circular 33/2004, the Court does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th July, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.