INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGrath
Employer Member: Mr Brennan
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Rates of pay.
The dispute before the Court concerns the Union's claim on behalf of eight supervisors and seven assistant supervisors. The workers in question are part of FAS Community Employment Schemes which are sponsored by the Wicklow County Council. The supervisors/assistant supervisors were recruited specifically for these projects. Due to the nature of the schemes their employment is in an unestablished capacity. The supervisors are paid at the minimum point of the road overseer scale (currently £243.11 per week) and the assistant supervisors at the minimum point of the gangers scale (currently £215.59 per week).
In 1994 the Union sought similar rates of pay to those of supervisors employed in other FAS non-council schemes. In 1994/1995 local level discussions and a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission took place following which the Council indicated, that, having regard to the Department of Environment Circular EL3/95 (on increments to temporary staff), it was prepared to grant increments to the workers concerned up to a maximum of the fifth point of the relevant scales.
The Union rejected the Council's offer and the matter was referred back to the Labour Relations Commission. Conciliation conferences took place on 2nd April, 1996 and 14th November, 1996. As agreement could not be reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 8th December, 1996 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 10th April, 1997.
3. 1. The rate of pay recommended by FAS for supervisors is substantially higher than the rate paid by the Council.
2. The workers concerned are paid local authority rates of pay. In the circumstances the Union is seeking that the workers be placed on the appropriate point of the relevant scale and progress to the maximum of the scale in the normal way.
3. The supervisors should not be treated less favourably than supervisors employed on other community employment projects.
4. 1. The Council considers that it has dealt with the Union's claim in a fair manner. It is prepared to apply the terms of Circular EL3/95 to the claimants which would increase their remuneration from the present minimum point of the scale up to a maximum of the fifth point on the scale.
2. FAS has indicated that the wages paid to supervisors is a matter for the sponsors and is recoverable out of the non-wage grant of £27 per week per participant. The non-wage grant is fixed and the more paid to supervisors in the form of wages and travel expenses, the less there is available for materials. This could result in schemes of a lower quality to the detriment of participants and the community.
3. The supervisors have additional benefits compared to their counterparts employed on private schemes e.g., eating on site allowances, travel expenses and steady ongoing employment.
4. The Council would have great difficulty operating the schemes if pay costs increased beyond its present offer.
The Court having considered the points raised by the parties in their oral and written submissions recommends that the salary scale of the road overseer and the ganger be applied to the workers here concerned, these rates (Minimum £243.11 - Maximum £268.96 and Minimum £215.59 - Maximum £228.24 respectively) to be applied with effect from the date of issue of this recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th May, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.