INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CORK UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL / HSE SOUTH
- AND -
IRISH NURSES ORGANISATION
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. INO & SIPTU (1) Various staffing matters, (2) retention of paid meal breaks (3) parking facilities (4) relocation package (INO only).
2. In 1992, a decision was made by the Southern Health Board to amalgamate all maternity services from St. Finbarr’s Hospital and the Erinville Hospital to a new site at Cork University Hospital (CUH). In 2006 it was decided that the maternity services from the Bon Secours Hospital would also be integrated into the Cork University Maternity Hospital, however this is being dealt with separately under Transfer of Undertakings legislation. The 24th of March, 2007 is the planned opening date of Cork Unified Maternity Services at CUH.
Despite several meetings between Unions and Management, a number of issues remain including; staffing levels in advance of the opening, Midwife Manager posts at night, in the Labour and Neo Natal Wards, retention of paid meal breaks, retention of free parking (for Erinville) and relocation.
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 8th March, 2007 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th March, 2007.
3. 1. The staff numbers for the new CUMH are not in line with the “Black Book”, a Report on the CUMH and recommended staffing. The Report stated that 383.41 trained Midwives would be required for 7,000 births. The service has now surpassed this and is approaching 8,500 deliveries.
2. The HSE has calculated the number of additional posts incorrectly. It has included Nursery Nurses in this figure. However they are not a registered Nurse or Midwife and these posts must be re-classified in general support services.
3. The night sisters have held an autonomous management role at night. Existing Night Midwife Sisters CMM2 should be upgraded to the post of Night Midwife Superintendent. Internal competition should also take place for Shift Leaders in Labour and Neo Natal Wards. The HSE had approved these posts but they were subsequently withdrawn.
4. Midwives in St. Finbarr’s Hospital have a long-standing arrangement whereby they are paid for their meal breaks. This should be retained by the HSE.
5. Staff should be compensated for their relocation to CUMH. The INO is seeking parity with the move from Cashel to Clonmel as €3,000 per worker.
6. Staff in the Erinville Hospital currently have free car parking. Upon their relocation 100 places in the underground car park in the CUMH should be retained for staff. Staff should also be able to retain their spaces in the Erinville with supportive park and ride to the CUMH.
4 1. Of the new posts, the midwifery/nursing complement will be 375. This includes Registered Midwives, Pupil Midwives and Nursery Nurses. Pupil Midwives are already Registered Nurses and only 7 Nursery Nurses are involved.
2. The results of the “Black Book” are not conclusive as the author was unable to give an accurate report due to the lack of data. It is proposed that the author will return to carry out a more comprehensive report in the first 6 months of the CUMH’s operation.
3. The HSE South is embarking on a recruitment campaign in the United Kingdom in March. There will also be a number of the current Student Midwives graduating in September.
4. There will be 2 Night Superintendent Posts in the new services. There has also been confirmation that staff acting in promotional positions will be made permanent.
5. Management have already offered that all midwives appointed to St. Finbarr’s Hospital prior to 2000 will retain, on a red-circle basis, paid meal breaks for a period of one year.
6. The relocation to CUMH should be considered to be normal ongoing change consistent with Sustaining Progress and Towards 2016.
7. All staff in the CUMH will have access to current parking facilities on campus. A park and ride service from St. Finbarr’s Hospital may operate depending on demand for such a service.
The Court has considered the oral and written submissions of the parties and recommends as follows:-
The new facility should open as planned on 24th March 2007. All staff should cooperate with this move subject to the following:-
Given the assurances on safety and service delivery made by the HSE at the Court hearing,
The midwifery / nursing complement should be 375, as stated by the HSE, on the opening of the Hospital. This number should be composed of qualified midwives and nurses only. Nursery nurses are, in the view of the Court, a separate grade. The HSE should recruit urgently to make up any shortfall arising in the above numbers.
As discussed at conciliation, the services of Ms Marie Washbrook should be re-engaged to carry out a review of service delivery / staffing within 3-6 months of the date of opening of the Hospital. The parties should then discuss and act on whatever recommendations Ms Washbrook makes.
The offers made by the HSE at conciliation should be restored and put into place as soon as possible.
Paid Meal Breaks:-
Midwives appointed to St. Finbarr's Hospital should retain this concession on a red-circled basis, until the end of 2008.
For as long as is feasible, the facility of parking at Erinville's Hospital should be available to staff and a park-and -ride facility made available from that site as well as the one for St Finbarr's, having regard for the demand for such a service.
The Court notes that there are no imminent plans to charge staff for parking on the CUMH complex.
Disturbance / Relocation Payment:-
The Court, in line with Recommendation No. 18823, recommends that affected staff be granted one additional days leave, on a once-off basis, in the 2007-08 leave year.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th March, 2007______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Lisa McCarthy, Court Secretary.