INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
LOCAL GOVERMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES BOARD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Implementation Of New Incident Command System
2. Following a major review of Fire Services across the Country the adoption of a National Incident Command System (NICS) was proposed. The NICS is a framework for the management of fire service response to operational incidents, regardless of the scale, type or level of response resources to be managed. The Union raised a number of issues concerning the introduction of the System in correspondence with Management. Discussions were held between the parties and the Union put forward a number of proposals regarding the implementation of the system.
Following the discussions, management considered the proposals put forward by the Union and found them to be unacceptable.
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 30th September, 2008 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 5th December, 2008.
3. 1 Despite its reservations on a serious range of issues, the Union was prepared to implement the proposals even though a critical analysis had not been carried out as required by the employer.
2 It is the Union's considered position that the proposals put forward in direct negotiations represents the best way forward.
4. 1 The implementation of the NICS is an essential element in ensuring that the fire service is operating best practice in safety terms. The relevant training courses have been rolled out to all fire service personnel.
2 The Board has addressed all issues which directly relate to the implementation of the system. The Union has not raised any significant issue that would warrant a delay in the implementation of this safety initiative, which is required to enable fire authorities to comply with statutory and important safety considerations.
In the Court's view the introduction of the National Incident Command System is a safety measure which should not unduly be delayed.
It is noted that the Union have raised a number of issues arising from the proposed introduction of this system. The Court believes that these matters should be addressed through the type of process proposed by the Union. However the Court does not believe that it is either necessary or reasonable to delay the introduction of the NCIS pending the outcome of this process.
The Court therefore recommends as follows:-
1. The introduction of the NCIS should now proceed and the Union should cooperate with its introduction.
2. Without prejudice to the position of either party the process proposed by the Union in its document of 4th June 2008 should be put in place and the range of issues identified by the Union should be addressed in the process.
3. It should be accepted by all parties that the outcome of this process must be in harmony with all statutory provisions relating to the operation of the Fire Service.
4. The process should continue for a period not exceeding three months. Any matters not resolved within this process may be referred back to the Court for final adjudication.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd December, 2008______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to David P Noonan, Court Secretary.