INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION (IMPACT)
1. Claim for up-grading.
2. The claim concerns the grading of 3 posts in the Academy. Two of the posts are at administrative officer (AO) level and one is at secretarial assistant (SA) level. The Union wants the 2 AO posts upgraded to assistant executive secretary level and the SA post upgraded to senior secretarial assistant.
The Union's claim has been under discussion since 1994 with the Academy directly and also at 2 conciliation conferences with the Labour Relations Commission on 27th February, 1996, and 30th April 1996. At the second conference, the Academy agreed to approach the Higher Education Authority (HEA) seeking sanction for the up-grading of the 3 posts. To date sanction has not been granted. The Academy claims that all up-grading would have to be within the context of clause 2(iii) of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (PCW).
The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 10th July, 1996, in accordance with Section 26(1), Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 9th September, 1996.
3. 1. The posts in question have a direct pay relationship with their University College Dublin (UCD) equivalents. The functions and responsibilities of the 3 workers merit the grading levels claimed. This is acknowledged by the Academy. The delay in gaining sanction from the HEA is more to do with the financial implications than with a lack of merit of the claim.
2. The dispute should be dealt with outside of the PCW. The issues concern individual gradings and are not contrary to the terms of the PCW. Individual claims have been successfully negotiated in the HEA funded sector in a number of similar institutes outside the terms of the PCW (details supplied to the Court).
4. 1. The 3% available under Clause 2 (iii) of the PCW is the sole funding available to meet up-grading claims. The Union was advised of this and accepted a 1% downpayment (part of the 3%) on that basis. The total cost of the 3 claims would be approximately £12,000 annually which is greater than the 3% allowed under the terms of the PCW.
2. The Academy cannot up-grade posts without an evaluation being made of the work involved. If the Academy were to concede the claim other grades could also ask to be up-graded which could lead to serious financial implications for the Academy.
The Court recommends that the appropriate course for dealing with this issue is for a job evaluation to be undertaken on these 3 posts.
Given the time scale involved in dealing with this case, the Court would recommend that this exercise be completed as soon as possible.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th September, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.