INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
IRISH CANCER SOCIETY
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Restructuring of fund-raising Department.
2. The Irish Cancer Society was founded in 1963 and currently is the 11th largest fund-raising charity in the country. The Society is dedicated to preventing cancer, saving lives and improving the lives of those living with cancer through patient care, research and education . In May 2007 a Think Consultancy Report was unveiled showing a new strategic framework and restructuring plan within which the Society could successfully face the many fund-raising challenges into the future. The Workers are concerned that their terms and conditions of employment may be affected as the Report failed, in their opinion, to address their views by not involving them in a consultation process. The Society strongly rejects this opinion.
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 4th October, 2007, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 12th November, 2007.
3.1.The Workers were not invited in any meaningful way to contribute to the consultation process other than an informal 'chat'.
2. The Workers were extremely upset that their competence and integrity were questioned in the Report.
3. The restructuring of the fund-raising Department would significantly change the terms and conditions of employment and compensation for loss of earnings needs to be urgently addressed.
4. 1. There was an extensive consultation process involving the employees regarding the restructuring process in order for the Society to remain viable.
2. Management has advised staff that jobs exist for everyone in the proposed new structure.
3. Basic salaries will increase to compensate for the termination of commission- based earnings which are now not considered best practice in fund-raising
It is clear that the gap between the parties is such that no recommendation which the Court could make at this time on the substantive issue of the proposed restructuring would advance the resolution of the dispute.
In these circumstances the Court recommends that the Union should accept in principle the need for restructuring the fund-raising function within the Society. The parties should then enter into an intense process of negotiation with a view to reaching agreement on the details of the restructuring and any other employment-related issues which may flow from what is agreed.
An agreed person or persons with industrial relations, mediation and business experience should facilitate this process. In default of agreement on a facilitator within two weeks from the date of issue of this Recommendation the Court will make an appropriate nomination.
The facilitation process should be completed as quickly as possible but should not extend beyond a period of three months. If agreement is not reached at the end of the process the Court will make definitive recommendations on any outstanding issues.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th December, 2007______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to John Foley, Court Secretary.