INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
KILLARNEY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL - HSE SOUTH
- AND -
IRISH NURSES ORGAINISATION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Director of Nursing Post, Killarney Community Hospital
2. This dispute concerns the HSE South's proposal to change the management structure at Killarney Community Hospital, following the recent retirement of its Director of Nursing, by giving responsibility for Killarney Community Hospital to the Director of Nursing at St Columbanus Home, and creating a new post of Assistant Director of Nursing at Killarney Community Hospital.
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 9th June, 2009, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 23rd July, 2009, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. There is no professional or financial justification for the proposal to abolish the post of Director of Nursing at Killarney Community Hospital.
2. The decision to abolish the post ofpost of Director of Nursing at Killarney Community Hospital was taken without proper consultation.
3.The post of Director of Nursing at Killarney Community Hospital must be advertised and filled in accordance with the relevant agreements.
4. 1. The proposed amalgamation of the two sites is appropriate and reasonable, and ensures compliance with the independent statutory regulations governing standards of care in such residential facilities.
2. The proposed changes are consistent with normal on-going change in the Health Service.
3.The primary motivation for the proposed amalgamation is the need to strengthen governance arrangements.
The Court is satisfied that the HSE introduced the changes giving rise to this dispute without having adequately engaged consultation with the Union on either the rationale for the decision or its industrial relations implications. The Court recommends that in respect of any further changes of a similar nature the HSE should assure the Union that a full and complete process of consultation will be entered into before the changes in contemplation are implemented.
The Court notes that the HSE regard the changes in issue as necessary in order to improve the governance and quality of delivery of its services in the Region. Matters to do with the delivery of health services are within the statutory remit of the HSE and are not matters for the Court. The sole concern of the Court is to deal with the industrial relations implications of the proposed changes.
The Court has been told that the changes are currently in place and appear to be operating satisfactorily. The Court believes that in this particular case, and on receiving the assurances recommended above as to consultation on future change, the Union should cooperate with the full implementation of the Management proposals.
This recommendation is made subject to approval being obtained to the appointment of an Assistant Director of Nursing.
Any residual industrial relations matters arising from the change should be the subject of continuing discussions between the parties
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th August, 2009______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jonathan McCabe, Court Secretary.