INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE, MID-WESTERN AREA
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation Ir22034/04/MR.
2. The worker has been employed with the HSE as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and has been in that position since August, 2000. He had previously been employed as an attendant in Dean Maxwell Home in Roscrea from 1996-2000. Prior to that he had worked with the Roscrea Fire Service as a first responder. The worker is currently on the 6th point of the EMT scale (since the 28th of June, 2006). He went on to the first point of the scale on 20th of January, 2001, as an untrained EMT and on to the second point as a qualified EMT on the 28th of June, 2002. The Union's case is that it believes that the worker should be on a higher point of the EMT scale due to the amount of previous experience he brought to his current position. The HSE's case is that it has dealt with the worker's incremental progression in line with National process and that he has been allocated incremental credit as he became eligible.
The case was referred to a Rights Commissioner and his recommendation was as follows:-
"I, therefore, recommend that the worker and SIPTU should accept that their claim that he should be granted additional increments fails".
The Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 5th of August, 2006, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 23rd of November, 2006.
3. 1. During his time as an attendant at Dean Maxwell Home and his 16 years with the Fire Service the worker gained valuable experience which continues to prove beneficial to him in his current role as an EMT.
2. The HSE has referred to numerous agreements and the rules concerning incremental credit, i.e."may be granted for previous recognised experience in the same grade". This sentence does not prohibit the HSE from recognising accredited experience. It is a discretionary decision for Management.
4. 1. The rules surrounding incremental credit provide that in the case of initial appointments incremental credit may be granted forprevious recognised experiencein the same grade in Ireland or abroad. The worker's current position / grade is not the same as the two grades he previously held, i.e, as a firefighter or at Dean Maxwell House.
2. The qualification / skills for the post of EMT are regulated by the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC). To deviate from the identified skills set down by the PHECC is outside the remit of the HSE and would have major implications for all other EMTs appointed in the Health Service.
The claim before the Court concerns the Union’s appeal of a Rights Commissioner’s recommendation, which found against the claim for incremental credit progression on the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) pay scale on behalf of the claimant.
Having examined the oral and written submissions of the parties, the Court accepts that incremental credit for EMT’s is determined by nationally agreed rules which specify that incremental progression on the EMT scale can only be allowed once an employee qualifies as an EMT. These qualifications are regulated by Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC). Therefore, the Court does not find in favour of the Union’s grounds of appeal.
However, the Court is of the view that there was an inordinate delay in the claimant’s progression from point one (untrained) to point two of the scale (when he completed the PHECC examines). The Court accepts that this delay was completely outside of his control. The claimant is currently on point six of the scale.
Therefore, in all the circumstances the Court recommends that he should be placed on point 7 of the scale retrospective to 28th June, 2006.
Accordingly, the Rights Commissioner’s recommendation is overturned.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
22nd December, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.