INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. The effective date for the upgrading of certain Therapists.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Health Service Executive (HSE) - Employers Agency and IMPACT in relation to the appropriate implementation date of a number of upgrades for 12 therapists represented by the Union. In April 2000, an Expert Group Report on certain health professions issued recommending changes in grading structures for certain therapist grades. Subsequently, a number of grading anomalies arose which were dealt with by an adjudication report carried out by Doran and McHugh. The Doran & McHugh report issued in May 2004 and recommended upgrades in certain areas where therapists were carrying out Managerial duties.The report was silent on the issue of implementation. The Union is seeking an implementation date of 1st August 2001 on the basis that a commitment had been given prior to the commencement of the process and that failure to apply the upgrades on that date may lead to repercussive claims.
Management's position is that an implementation date of 1st June 2004 had been identified following the issue of the adjudication report and that no difficulties had been brought forward by the Trade Union at the time.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commision. As agreement was not reached, the matter was referred to the Labour Court on 2nd February, 2006 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 31st May, 2006
3. 1. The appropriate date for the implementation of the upgrades is 1st August 2001, as had been agreed prior to the commencement of the process. Other upgrades were awarded as a result of direct negotiations with management and were effective from 1st August 2001.
2. If the applicable date of the upgrades is not 1st August, 2001 it will appear that another eligible category exists and will lead to repercussive claims in the future.
4. 1. The appropriate date for the implementation of the upgrades is 1st June 2004. This is the date that the findings of the adjudication report were issued and the Trade Union did not object or raise any issues with regard to implementation at the time.
2. The HSE is operating to strict financial constraints and will not be able to fund the additional costs of the retrospection, which is estimated to be approximately
€240,000 (€20,000 per person).
The issues before the Court concerns the implementation date of an adjudication report conducted by Doran & McHugh completed in June 2004, which recommended upgrading for a number of claimants employed in therapist grades. The report made no mention of an implementation date of the recommended upgrading.
Prior to this adjudication process and subsequent to the implementation of the Expert Review Group on various Health Professions, a number of grading anomalies arose.
These were dealt with by an initiative taken by the HSEA, involving local discussions, which commenced in 2002 and applied the upgrading retrospective to 1st August, 2001. The Union is of the view that the implementation date following the adjudication process should similarly be retrospective to 1st August, 2001. HSE disagree, stating that this was a separate process and the upgrades should be applied from the date of the findings of the report, 1st June, 2004.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court notes that the Doran & McHugh report is silent on the implementation date. Therefore, the Court recommends that a fair and reasonable approach should be taken and accordingly, recommends that the effective date for implementation of the upgrading should be from 1st January, 2003.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th June, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.