INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. 1. Non-implementation of agreement to provide 50 extra Trainee Psychologist Posts per annum, 2. Unilateral change in manner of assimilation on to Basic Psychologist Scale.
2. A Joint Review Group involving the two parties produced a Report in 2002 in relation to psychological services. The Report recommended that at least 50 new clinical psychologists per year be appointed for the foreseeable future. The issue was referred to the Labour Court and LCR18080 issued in January, 2005. Further talks took place between the parties and agreement was reached in 2006, as a means of paying for the new posts, on a revised rate of pay for new entrants that was €5000 lower than the existing rate. The Union's case is that the HSE has not delivered on the agreed number of new entrants.
The second issue relates to assimilation of trainee clinical psychologists onto the basic clinical psychologist scale. In a number of cases trainees were assimilated onto the 4th point, something the HSE views as untenable. It wishes all trainees to assimilate onto the minimum of the scale.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 1st October, 2009,, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 19th January, 2010.
3. 1. The HSE has shown no commitment to implementing the 2002 Report or the agreement in 2006 in regard to appointing 50 new entrants per year. It has "cherry-picked" the 2006 agreement by reducing the salary of trained clinical psychologists but has failed to put in place the extra replacements.
2. Trainees are already highly qualified pre-employment with the Health Boards. Talks on assimilation took place between the parties without agreement taking place but it was agreed that the 4th point of the scale would apply until a solution was found.
4. 1. While the HSE accepts that 50 trainees have not been appointed per year, it believes that significant progress has been made as a result of the 2002 Report in relation to the trainees positions. In 2006 a revised contract of employment was agreed and implemented.
2. Trainees being assimilated to the 4th point of the scale would move from €39,525 (max) to €60,959, an increase of €21,434. The HSE believes that this is unsustainable and that trainees should move to the minimum point which would still involve a significant increase of €14,458 per year.
In this claim the Union is seeking implementation of an agreement, which it claims to have concluded with the HSE, on training places and of a custom and practice on incremental assimilation. There is no written record of either the agreement nor the claimed custom and practice nor is there consensus between the parties as to what was actually agreed or what constituted the custom and practice.
In the circumstances the Court is unable to determine with any degree of accuracy what precisely was agreed or as to whether or not there was a custom and practice.
In the circumstances the Court recommends that the parties should now enter negotiations on the issues in contention with a view to reaching a clear agreement on both issues. If agreement is not reached the matter may be referred back to the Court.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th January, 2010.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.