INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HSE MID WESTERN AREA
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
2. The case before the Court concerns issues surrounding the relocation of 35 clerical and administrative staff in Limerick Community Services from St. Camillus’ Hospital to the Raheen Industrial Estate.
The Union’s concerns are based on two main issues, the location of the new offices in the Raheen Industrial Estate and the loss of subsidised canteen facilities at St. Camullus’ Hospital.
A number of meetings took place and correspondence was exchanged between the Union and Management between August 2005 and February 2006. The issues were still unresolved when Management proceeded with the re-location of services with effect from 13th February 2006. Staff agreed to move under protest.
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 May 2006 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 31st January, 2007.
3. 1.The remote location of the new offices is unsuitable due to public transport, traffic congestion and for accessing facilities such as shop, bank etc. The loss of canteen facilities has also put an increased financial burden on staff.
2. The staff have co-operated and assistedwith the move even though other HSE staff on the same site were compensated in advance of their move even though the inconvenience suffered was less severe.
3. This is a minor claim that is not intended to breach government policy in relation to the payment of monies for relocation in itself, but is to acknowledge the loss of canteen facilities and the less than ideal location of the new offices.
4. 1. The HSE does not compensate employees for relocating from one location to another as it employs Clerical and Administration staff on the basis of "initial assignments."
2. Management fulfilled its obligations and consulted fully with employees prior to the relocation.
3. The HSE in making the decision to relocate employees to the Raheen Business Park has not contravened/ breached any contractual terms and conditions of employment. Indeed every effort was made to facilitate individual employee requirements.
Having considered the submissions made by the parties, the Court recommends that this long-running dispute should be resolved by the concession to the staff involved of an extra 3 days' annual leave in 2007 and 2 days' annual leave in 2008, similar to the agreement reached with stores personnel in relation to their move to the new facility, and that this be accepted in full and final settlement of the matter.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th February, 2007______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.