INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
NEC SEMICONDUCTORS (IRELAND) LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation No. ST184/96.
2. The dispute concerns promotional opportunities in relation to one worker who was employed as an operator by the Company in December, 1986. In November, 1995, the worker, who is employed on shift-work, applied for a temporary vacancy (Shipping Operator) on day-work. Her application was unsuccessful and she, subsequently, queried the factors on which the Company based its decision. Following a re-check of the interview results, her rating under the category of education was raised and her placing improved, but she still failed to secure the position. The worker has, to date, applied for a total of 14 positions of which 13 are on day-work. Her only successful application concerns a post two grades higher than her present position but which is on a 12-hour 4-shift cycle. The Union claims that the worker's applications have not been objectively dealt with by the Company, and is seeking that an appropriate day-job be made available to her. The Company's position is that, whilst acknowledging the claimant to be an excellent worker, it has acted in a fair and impartial manner throughout. The matter was the subject of investigation by a Rights Commissioner who found that although selection and promotion procedures often give rise to disputes and disappointed candidates may feel a sense of grievance, ultimately, the employer must be free to select the person it considers most suitable for a position.
He recommended that the Company should note the worker's aspirations and also her experience and education and that, subject to equal fairness to other employees, the Company should actively consider any opportunities which might be suitable for her. The Union appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court, on the 28th of January, 1997, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court heard the appeal, in Drogheda, on the 12th of June, 1997.
3. 1. There is a serious question regarding the Company's objectivity and fairness in relation to the worker's applications. Regarding her application for the post of Shipping Officer, she was given a low rating for her educational qualifications on the grounds that the writing on the Company file was illegible. On inspection, subsequently, the writing on the file was found to be absolutely clear.
2. To date, the worker has applied for 14 vacancies, 13 of which were day-job positions. The only successful application was for a job 2 grades higher than the previous grades. However, that position operates on a 12-hour 4-shift-cycle basis. The working hours aspect was uppermost in the worker's mind when she made her applications and day work continues to be her goal.
3. The worker has worked for 10 years in a range of positions and she is an employee of good status, experience and education. The person chosen for the post in question had only 3 years' service and could not have scored as well as the claimant for either quality, experience, or flexibility.
4. There have been numerous cases of dissatisfaction regarding other applications. The Company has acknowledged that a new process is needed. This is currently being discussed by the parties.
4. 1. The vacancy in question was filled in accordance with the procedures, by a properly instituted interview panel and in accordance with the agreed interview criteria.
2. On hearing of the error concerning the worker's rating for her educational record, the Company adjusted her score and her position improved accordingly (details supplied to the Court).
3. The areas in which the Union claims that the claimant would have scored higher than the successful candidate were all taken into account by the interview panel.
4. The higher-graded job the worker applied for successfully was in an area in which she worked and she had a distinct advantage in applying for it.
Having considered all the information, oral and written, supplied by the parties, and the assurances given by the Union in relation to putting aside normal procedures for this case, the Court believes that the parties should meet to discuss a means of accommodating the claimant's aspirations for a day-job.
This obviously would be in the context of a vacancy arising and that she is perceived as capable of successfully filling the role.
The Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to be amended accordingly.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th of June, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.