SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
OUR LADY'S CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CRUMLIN
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Service of new theatres by theatre porters.
2. This dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 8 November 2016 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 17 January 2017.
3. 1. The Union is seeking that a minimum complement of 10 theatre porters be implemented.
2. The new Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory, HCCL should continue to be serviced by a porter assigned to that department.
3. There should be a standard operating procedure in respect of porter allocation duties drawn up and agreed locally prior to members servicing the additional areas. The hospital should re-engage with the Union for a meaningful discussion on the theatre porter roster.
4. 1. The new HCCL opened on 14 June 2016. The operating theatre department requires multi-disciplinary cooperation, and the interaction of various grades and categories of staff including medical/surgical, nursing, portering, and healthcare assistants.
2. There is no change involved in the nature of the theatre porters work which involves moving patients, cleaning the theatres and moving equipment. There is no change to the working hours or earnings of the theatre porters involved in the dispute.
3.The job description for a porter states that they are required to perform such duties as may be appropriate to the post as may be assigned from time to time and also that they be completely flexible in the performance of their duties. The porters are not fulfilling this requirement by refusing to provide cover for the new HCCL.
The issue before the Court concerns the servicing by Theatre Porters of the new Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory in the Hospital. The dispute between the parties concerns the provision of cover for annual leave, breaks and absenteeism of the new portering staff recruited to service the new theatre.
Having considered the submissions of both parties the Court recommends that the proposals dated 12thSeptember 2016 which emerged from discussions held at the Workplace Relations Commission should form the basis of further discussions with a view to resolving this dispute. The Court recommends the following amendment to those proposals:-
- •A standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in respect of porter allocation and duties within the theatres will be drawn up and agreed locally
- •The current complement of porters (10 porters) should be maintained.
- •On acceptance of this agreement, theatre porters will provide annual leave cover, sick leave cover and break cover for the Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory, which will now be considered part of the suite of theatres covered by the Theatre Porter Service in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin.
- •Discussions to be held between the parties on agreeing rosters on a cost neutral basis within the current complement of porters. All parties must agree to co-operate with the implementation of any agreement reached, which should be implemented on a six month trial basis from the date of that agreement.
The Court so Recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18 January 2017______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Michael Neville, Court Secretary.