INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
BORD NA GCON
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. (1) Rates of pay and (2); job content of new posts.
2. Bord na gCon is a commercial semi-state organisation set-up in 1958 to promote greyhound racing in Ireland. The Board employs 22 permanent and 364 part-time staff. The Board's 8 subsidiary companies operate greyhound tracks employing 44 full-time and 143 part-time staff.
In late 1994, the Board commissioned consultants to examine the Board's organisation and operations. The report which was presented in March, 1995 recommended a new framework at senior management level. The new structure involved the creation of the following posts:-
(1) Commercial Manager.
(2) Regulation Manager.
(3) Finance Manager.
(4) Industry Development Manager.
Local level discussions took place at which the Union sought to have the positions filled by existing staff. Management rejected the Union's claim and indicated that the four posts would be advertised nationally and existing staff of the board and its subsidiary companies were eligible to apply.
Appointments were made to the positions of commercial manager, regulation manager and finance manager. It was decided not to proceed with the filling of the post of development manager.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A number of conciliation conferences took place following which agreement was reached on the creation of four new posts identified during discussions. The functions and responsibilities set out in the industry development manager's job portfolio were allocated to the four new posts. Agreement could not be reached on the question of pay and job descriptions of the posts and the matter was referred back to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on 8th May, 1996. As agreement could not be reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 28th June, 1996 under Section 26 (1) OF THE Indusrrial Relations Act 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 19th July, 1996. A recommendation was issued by letter on 19th July, 1996.
3. 1. The Board's insistence in conducting interviews prior to the Labour Court hearing is in breach of good industrial relations procedures.
2. The workers in Limerick co-operated fully with the consultants. They have considerable expertise and knowledge of the industry and their commitment to ensuring that the industry survives is beyond question.
3. Bord na gCon is a semi-state body. It should advertise vacant positions in a fair and reasonable way.
4. It is reasonable to expect that serving employees be advised of the rate of pay and job specification's before applying for the positions concerned.
4. 1. The Union's criticism of management cannot be justified. Management advised the Industrial Relations Officer that it would be proceeding with the interviews.
2. The Union was assured that no compulsory redundancies or loss of earnings would occur arising from the restructuring proposals contained in the report.
3. It is management's prerogative to advertise and recruit the most suitable candidates for any vacancies which may arise and to determine the job content and levels of remuneration of the new posts.
4. Management advised the Union on a number of occasions at local level and at conciliation that applicants called for interview would be advised of the job content and levels of remuneration. The Union was advised that the rates for these positions would be fair and competitive given the level of responsibilities relating to the positions.
The Court has considered the submissions and arguments of the parties to this dispute and recommends that the rates of pay and scope of these jobs be advised to the Union prior to interviews.
The Court further recommends that the four posts be re-advertised with the salaries and job specifications attached without further delay.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
1st August, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.