INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
MONAGHAN GENERAL HOSPITAL
- AND -
IRISH NURSES ORGANISATION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Compensation for loss of Theatre on-call payments.
2. The dispute before the Court relates to a claim by the Union, on behalf of it’s members employed as Nurses in the Theatre Department of Monaghan General Hospital, for compensation for loss of on-call earnings incurred as a result of the interim cessation of out of hours trauma and surgical work within that Department. In January, 2005, the Hospital was taken off Theatre on-call. Management has continued to pay the on-call payment pending resolution of the claim.
- 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 26th January, 2006, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 1st June, 2006.
3. 1. The Claimants should incur no financial loss while Monaghan General Hospital is not providing out of hours surgical service. Staff should continue to receive payment pending a final decision regarding the provision of surgical services within the HSE North East, which is currently under review.
2. The result of this unilateral decision by the HSE North East is that the Claimants will endure severe financial loss of earnings due to the loss. The majority of these individuals have been in receipt of these enhanced on-call payments since the 1970's.
4. 1. Management recognises that this is a legitimate claim and have made a concerted effort to broker local agreement on a loss of earnings package for these staff.
2. The Union's claim is grossly excessive and way out of line with national trends in respect of compensation packages. Staff have continued to receive the additional payments to date, which amounts to sixteen months compensation. Management considers this to be adequate compensation for loss of earnings. To pay compensation over and above this would have significant knock-on implications for the entire country.
Due to the reconfiguration of surgical services in The Cavan Monaghan Hospital Group in January, 2005, Monaghan Hospital will now provide a 5 day elective service only. Therefore, since that date there is no longer a requirement for Theatre nurses to be on-call. The dispute before the Court is a claim for compensation for on-call payments for these nurses. Management offered to continue to pay the on-call payments up to one year, pending resolution of the claim. However, these payments have continued to be paid to the date of the Court hearing.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court recommends that the on-call payments should continue to be paid to the claimants for a total period of 24 months from January, 2005. Alternatively, the Court recommends that the individual claimants may opt to have a lump sum payment of the remainder of the monies between that which has already been paid and the recommended 24 months of on-call payments.
The Court recommends that this compensation should be accepted in full and final settlement of the claim for the loss of Theatre on-call payments at Monaghan General Hospital.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th June, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.