INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IBEC)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr McCarthy
1. Saturday overtime payment to part-time staff.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Employer and the Union on behalf of five of its members employed in the Hospital Sterile Services Department (HSSD) in Tallaght Hospital. The dispute relates specifically to the Union's claim that the Employer has unilaterally altered the Workers terms and conditions of employment resulting from Management's decision to standardise overtime rates for part-time staff. The Union contends that the Employer has changed the contractual entitlements to overtime payment rates and they have suffered a significant financial loss as a result. The Employer rejects the Union's claim. 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 9th January, 2015, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 10th March, 2015.
3. 1. The Employer has unilaterally altered the terms of the Workers' contracts by standardising their overtime payment rates.
2. It is an established custom and practice to pay the previously agreed overtime rates once the Workers have exceeded their normal part-time working hours.
4. 1. The Employer has standardised overtime rates in order to bring the Workers in line with the established practice within the Hospital.
2. The Employer is bound by the terms of the current Public Service Agreement and is not in a position to concede the Union's claim.
The Court notes that the arrangements in place in respect of part-time workers in the HSSD Department are out of line with comparable workers in Section 38 Agencies in particular and the HSE generally. Accordingly, the Court recommends that new employees would, with immediate effect, be brought into line with standard practice for comparable workers.
The Court notes that five workers have enjoyed these exceptional arrangements over a prolonged period of time. In that context the Court recommends that the parties engage with a view to incentivising the workers concerned to voluntarily transition to the standard part-time arrangements that are approved by the Department of Health.
Pending the outcome of those talks the historic arrangements that apply to the five workers should be restored to them with effect from January 2014.
The parties are free to refer issues that are not resolved in those talks back to the Court for a definitive Recommendation.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th April 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.