INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL & HOSPICE
(REPRESENTED BY IBEC)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Access to Superannuation Scheme for new entrants.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Employer and the Union in relation to the Union's claim for access to the Employer's Superannuation scheme on behalf of 22 new entrants. It is the Union's position that employees of the Hospital historically have had access to the Voluntary Hospital Superannuation Scheme, with the exception of the 22 nurses involved in this claim. The Union is therefore seeking access to the Scheme for its members. The Employer is not in a position to provide access to the scheme to the new entrants. 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 5th November, 2014, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd April, 2015.
3. 1. The Claimants have unfairly been denied access to theVoluntary Hospital Superannuation Scheme.
2. The Union contends that the Claimants hold less favourable terms and conditions of employment to those of their counterparts with greater amounts of service.
3. The Union asserts that employees of the Hospital have always had access to the Scheme. It is therefore unjust to exclude these Claimants from the Scheme.
4. 1. The Hospital is funded under Section 39 of the Health Act.
2. The Employer contends that access to the Scheme is not within the gift of the Hospital to grant to new entrants.
3. The Employer is not in a position to fund access to the scheme for the 22 Claimants.
It is accepted that the employer in this case is in an anomalous position vis-�-vis other similarly funded organisations in that its staff have traditionally had access to the pension scheme in issue.
It is, however, clear that the long standing and well established position is that the staff of this Hospital are treated as covered by the terms and conditions of employment applicable to public sector workers, including pension entitlements. In the Court’s view that is a custom and practice that should be regarded as equivalent to a collective agreement. The Court is further of the opinion that the current arrangements in that regard cannot be altered other than by agreement.
The Court also regards it as significant that the disputed exclusion from the pension scheme is not universally applied to all newly recruited staff of the Hospital
In all the circumstances prevailing, the Court considers the Unions’ claim as reasonable and it recommends that it be conceded.
In making this recommendation the Court is conscious of the circumstances in which this matter arose and that the employer were, in effect, acting on the instructions of its funding agency. Consequently the implementation of this Recommendation will require further discussions between all parties and the funding agency.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th April 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.