INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
REGIONAL TECHNICAL COLLEGE SLIGO
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY DAMIEN TANSEY AND CO. SOLICITORS)
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Failure to promote, arbitrary introduction of unadvertised criteria regarding vacant positions of caretaker/groundsman.
2. The worker concerned commenced employment with the College as a part-time cleaner on the 20th of September, 1993. In February, 1994 the worker was transferred to the position of assistant groundsman. Following the groundsman's temporary promotion to the position of caretaker, the worker performed all the duties appropriate to groundsman. Currently the worker is employed on indoor cleaning duties.
On the 15th of February, 1995 the College advertised the positions of caretaker, groundsperson and part-time cleaners in the local paper, the Sligo Champion . On the 23rd of February, 1995 the worker applied for the positions of caretaker and groundsperson and on the 21st of March, 1997 he attended a preliminary interview. He was not selected for final interview.
The worker claims that the College acted unfairly by failing to communicate the job criteria to applicants prior to their application. He argues that the requirement for applicants to be in possession of a full driving licence was not stipulated in the newspaper advertisement and was merely invented to deny him the position which was rightfully his.
The College's position is that the selection criteria employed in the short-listing included five criteria which were deemed to be desirable in the short-listing process. These criteria included:-
1. Work experience.
3. Interpersonal skills.
4. Interest and motivation.
5. Overall suitability.
Under the second criteria, that is qualifications, it was deemed desirable that short-listed applicants would be in possession of a full driving licence which would be required to operate college tractors and vans in the course of duties.
The worker referred the matter to the Labour Court on the 19th of November, 1996 under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Labour Court hearing took place in Sligo on the 2nd of September, 1997.
3. 1. The worker carried out the duties of assistant groundsman from March, 1994 to October, 1994 and then assumed the full duties of groundsman from October, 1994 to June, 1995 when the new groundsman was officially appointed.
2. The College was obliged to communicate the job criteria to candidates prior to their application. The requirement to hold a full driving licence was not stipulated in the newspaper advertisement and was not mentioned to the worker at the interview.
3. A full driver's licence is not an essential requirement for the position of groundsman. The worker does not hold a full driver's licence, yet he functioned perfectly in the months from October, 1994 to June, 1995. On occasions he drove the College tractor and the tractor mower without any objections from the college authorities.
4. The acting caretaker was promoted to the position of caretaker. The College behaved in a capricious and unreasonable fashion in refusing to apply the same approach to the worker concerned.
5. In failing to communicate the job criteria and/or rearranging the job criteria in order to deny the worker the position which was rightfully his the College failed to adhere to the right to fair procedures. The worker was not warned that not holding a driver's licence would be an impediment to his employment and was not offered the opportunity to obtain a licence.
6. The requirement of holding a driver's licence was a charade, used to deny the worker his entitlement to a job for which he was perfectly qualified.
4. 1. The selection procedure employed by the College is rigorous and detailed and fully in accordance with the selection procedure determined by the Minister for Education.
2. At all times and at all stages the College acted fairly and reasonably in its dealings with all the applicants.
3. Selection criteria had to be devised for the short-listing procedure. The criteria selected were reasonable and in accordance with the requirements of the job.
4. The selection procedure applied equally to all applicants.
5. SIPTU did not see fit to pursue this grievance on behalf of the worker to a third party, indicating that it considered that the selection procedure employed by the College was fair and reasonable.
6. The College totally rejects any allegation of political interference made by the worker.
7. With the benefit of hindsight, had the College authorities been aware of the huge response to this advertisement it would have included the requirement of a driving licence in the original advertisement. Inclusion of this criteria would have assisted the College in the short-listing procedure on the basis of self-selection by the candidates themselves applying for the position.
8. In the light of the fairness of the College's recruitment and selection procedures the College requests that the Court supports its position.
The Court is satisfied that the selection procedures laid down by legislation have been adhered to and does not find that the claimant was treated unfairly.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th September, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.