INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY HSE-EA)
- AND -
IRISH DENTAL ASSOCIATION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Increase In Dental Treatment Services Sessions Rate
2. Under the Dental Treatment Services Sessions (DTSS) the HSE contracts private dental surgeons to provide free dental treatment to eligible medical card holders and public dental surgeons are also paid to provide extra after-hours sessions. This dispute concerns the rate paid to public dental surgeons for this work and the HSE's failure to conduct a review of the rate in January 2004 as provided for in an agreement of May 2002.
Under the 2002 agreement a sessional rate of €189 was introduced for public dental surgeons to carry out DTSS work after-hours. The Union claims that as a result of the HSE's failure to carry out this review of the sessional rate in 2004 the rate is now six years out of date and is seeking a new rate of €378. The HSE is prepared to pay a rate of €283.50 but only in areas where there is a particular shortage of public dental surgeons and this is not acceptable to the Union.
This 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 13th December 2007, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 11th April 2008, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The HSE's failure to conduct a review of the DTSS after-hours rate is a clear breach of the 2002 agreement.
2. The HSE has failed in its duty to adult medical card holders by not ensuring the provision of proper dental care via the DTSS after-hours sessions.
3.Public dental surgeons are becoming increasingly unwilling to provide after-hours treatment at the current rate, which is now six years out of date.
4. 1. Public dental surgeons have benefited fully from all recent national wage agreements.
2. Public dental surgeonsusing HSE premises and equipment are paid more for DTSS after-hours work than private dental surgeons are paid for doing the same work on their own premises.
3.This matter should be dealt with in the context of the DTSS Review and Towards 2016.
Having considered the submissions made by the parties, the Court is of the opinion that, in all the circumstances, the offer put forward at Conciliation was a reasonable way forward and should be accepted by the Union.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th July, 2008______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jonathan McCabe, Court Secretary.