INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Scale of pay.
2. In May, 1997, FAS concluded a restructuring agreement with SIPTU, which represents the majority of staff in FAS, under the provisions of Clause 2(iii) A of the PCW. The new agreement introduced higher pay scales for Grades 8, 9, 10 and for Instructors who progress to the Grade 8 scale, which is related to the HEO scale in the Civil Service. Thirty per cent of staff have access to the higher scale at any one time and appointments are made as follows:-
60% based on national seniority (on the grade or as an Instructor).
20% based on regional/head office seniority (allocated on a regional/head office pro-rata basis).
20% based on selection (allocated on a regional/head office pro-rata basis).
One instructor who has been employed by FAS for 19 years, and was not appointed to the higher scale, claims that the scale was unfairly distributed as staff with less service have been appointed to the higher scale. The employee concerned referred the issue to a Rights Commissioner for investigation, but FAS was not agreeable to attend a hearing. The employee then referred the dispute to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969, and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. The Court investigated the dispute on the 30th of March, 1998.
3. 1. The higher pay scale which was introduced recently was unfairly distributed to the workforce. One named employee whose staff number is clearly more recent than that of the complainant has been put on the higher scale.
2. If a senior employee is not appointed to the higher scale it implies that his service is not satisfactory. If this is not the case it is Management's responsibility to ensure that an individual employee's rights are protected and that he/she is not discriminated against.
4. 1. The agreement was the outcome of detailed negotiations with SIPTU and with the assistance of the FAS mediation panel. It was voted on and was accepted by a majority of the staff.
2. As 20% of the appointments were made by regional/head office seniority, treating each as a separate unit, it was possible for an instructor in one region to be appointed while someone in another region with longer service was not. This has happened in the complainant's case. There are approximately 90 instructors with longer service than the complainant who did not qualify for the higher scale. A further 20% of appointments have yet to be made which will also be made on a regional/head office pro-rata basis.
The Court is satisfied that the Employer has acted properly in applying the Agreement in question.
The Court does not, therefore, recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th April, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.