The Government of Jamaica and Certain Categories of Workers Employed to the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control v The Jamaica Union of Public Officers and Public Employees
Industrial Dispute Tribunal
Lynch, C.; Holness, R.; Dixon, R.
IDT 5 of 1975
Labour Law - Industrial Disputes — Terms of Employment — Hours of Work
The Honourable Minister of Labour and employment, by letter dated 18 th July, 1975, in accordance with section 9(6) of the Labour relations and Industrial Disputes Act, 1975, referred to the Tribunal for settlement, an industrial dispute between the Employer and certain categories of employees in the Hospital and Health Services represented jointly by the trade Unions.
The terms of Reference to the Tribunal were as follows:–
“to determine and settle the dispute in respect of the Government of Jamaica as Employer on the one hand and certain categories of workers employed in the Hospitals and Health Services of the Ministry of Health and environmental Control represented by the National Workers Union, the Bustamante Industrial trade Union, the Trades Union Congress of Jamaica and the Jamaica Union of Public Officers and Public Employees on the other hand.”
The Division of the Tribunal selected in accordance with section 8(2) of the Act to hear the dispute was as follows:–
Mr. B.W. Lynch
Mr. Noel Holness
Mr. Edward Dixon
The Government of Jamaica was represented by:–
Hon. Leacroft Robinson
Mr. Allan Alberga
Attorney General's Department
Mr. C.G. Levy
Ministry of the Public Service
Mr. A.C. Irons
Mr. I.G. Grant
Mr. Horatio Malcolm
Ministry of Health & Environmental Control
Mr. George Taylor
The Trade Unions were represented by:–
Mr. J.A.G. Myers
National Workers Union
Mr. I.H. Hibbert
Mr. Alton Bryan
Jamaica Union of Public Officers and Public Employees.
The parties submitted written briefs and oral submissions were made at the seven sittings which were held between the period 13 th November, 1975 to 14 th January, 1976.
Our award is unanimous with the exception of the award in respect of Claim No. 2. The minority view of the workers' representative Mr. Edward Dixon in this regard is set out separately and attached.
It was agreed that this matter should be dealt with by the Classification Review Board. We make no award.
This claim arises from the introduction by Government of the 5 day 40 hour work week. The Unions are claiming that in terms of a Circular dated 3 rd September, 1973, all non-shift workers who work on a Saturday or on a Sunday are entitled to premium pay for those days irrespective of whether or not they worked for 40 hours during Monday to Friday.
In all, three circulars were issued by the Government in connection with this 5-day workweek. The first and second dated 12 th April, and 4 th May, 1973 provided ‘inter alia’ for;
(a) a 40 hour work week, 5 days per week with effect from 15 th April, 1973;
(b) overtime for work in excess of 8 hours in any one day or 40 hours in any one week;
(c) in services where hours of operation are governed by Law, Regulations or Rules, these could continue to operate ‘as at present’ pending amendments to the Laws, Rules and Regulations.
(d) In the services which operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, shifts should re-arranged to ensure that as a rule, staff do not work more than five days in any one week;
(e) The submission of estimates for such additional staff as would be required to implement the 5-day workweek.
The third Circular which is dated 3 rd September, 1973, and mentioned earlier is quoted verbatim;
“(i) the standard work week for a non-shift worker should be Monday to Friday. Non-shift workers are persons who work a given specific period each day. Such employees will be required to work during the standard work week for 40 working hours eight hours a day excluding meal time. Any work performed in excess of the daily and/or weekly hours will attract overtime at normal rates.
(ii) the normal working period for continuous shift workers within a six-day service shall be the full period of six days, that is, Monday to Saturday. A shift worker is defined as an employee normally working on any day of the working week on an eight-hour shift which varies throughout the 24-hour day.
The shift worker should work a maximum of 40 weekly working hours of eight-hours a day excluding mealtime. Any hours in excess of the daily and/or weekly hours of work will attract overtime. Work performed on a public holiday within the five-day working week will be paid for at double time.
(iii) the normal working period for continuous shift worker in a seven-day service shall be any five days out of seven, eight hours...
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