Date Released: 16 March 2015
SIPTU members working in the Central Mental Hospital, Dublin, have secured a compensation package valued at over €2 million resulting from a management re-configuration of hospital services that led to an erosion of workers’ terms and conditions.
SIPTU Organiser, David Field, said: “Protracted negotiations between union representatives and management failed to deliver an acceptable result for our members so this case was brought to the Labour Court. It has issued a binding recommendation that up to 100 of our members affected must be compensated by over €2 million in total.”
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said the Labour Court recommendation is a vindication of the union’s position concerning the right of workers for full compensation when their terms and conditions are altered by management.
He added: “This Labour Court recommendation not only vindicates the determination of our members to achieve a fair and just outcome but it also, once and for all, clarifies that the employer, in this case the HSE, has no right to select which elements of loss in terms of workers’ terms and conditions it will compensate for when it instigates changes. This is a fundamental issue for all unions who are bound by the Haddington Road public service agreement.
"Our members should now be paid the compensation owed to them without delay."
SIPTU shop steward, Luke Quirke, said: “The decision by management to compensate for only selected losses of income was a step too far for workers. We are delighted with the decision of the Labour Court to compensate workers for their full losses of earnings."
He added: "SIPTU members fought this case for adequate compensation because workers have made significant sacrifices, both individually and collectively, since the beginning of the economic downturn. Our job is to improve services and the quality of life for some of Ireland’s most vulnerable citizens. This victory reminds us that in order to provide better health care to patients we need to fight for better jobs for health workers”.