INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Restoration of Ambulance runs to Dublin.
2. In 2003, following extensive discussions between the Union and the then Midland Health Board the Labour Relations Commission recommended the abolition of on-call from the Ambulance Service from the beginning of 2004. As a result of local discussions it was also agreed that the Dublin runs would be privatised for a period between 1st January 2004 and the 30th September 2004.
The dispute before the Court today concerns the refusal by Management to restore the Dublin runs to the EMT's (Emergency Medical Technicians) as previously agreed.
The dispute was the subject of two conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 3rd April, 2006 , in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th June, 2006.
3. 1.The agreement between Management and the Union was for a temporary transfer of rostered Dublin lines to private service providers for a fixed period up to the 30th September, 2004.
2. The Dublin runs should be reintroduced without any changes in shift arrangements as suggested by Management.
3. The Union claim that their members are suffering a loss of earnings due to the failure of Management to restore the Dublin runs to the Union members.
4. 1.An integral part of the agreement with the Union on the abolition of on-call was the introduction of 12 hour rosters. Management have proposed the introduction of additional rostered lines consisting of three x 10 hour and one x 9 hour shift.
2. There is no loss of earnings for the staff who were previously engaged in undertaking Dublin runs.
3.Management wish to assure the Union that the outsourcing of the Dublin runs is not an attempt to introduce outsourcing or privatisation of service delivery in the Ambulance Service by covert means.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court recommends as follows:-
The proposals as outlined in point 4 of the Industrial Relations Officer's letter of 25th July, 2005 to the parties should be acted upon forthwith. It is reasonable to expect that the Board restore the status quo. It is also reasonable that the attached conditions should be accepted in the context of greater efficiency and quality of service.
The parties should be prepared to discuss 10-hour shifts if this would improve further the efficiency and quality of the service provided.
The Court does not, in the light of developments since 2003-2004, see merit in the concession or further investigation of a claim for loss of earnings
If the parties continue to be unable to establish normal Union/Employer dialogue, it is open to them to seek the assistance of the Advisory Service of the Labour Relations Commission.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th June, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.