INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation 343/98.
2. The Union's claim is that the worker concerned acted-up as a Super/Senior Operative B foreman for a period of seven months (August, 1997-March, 1998) and, as such, should be either appointed to this grade or be "red-circled" at the grade. The Company contends that the worker never acted-up at the grade.
In 1994, the worker was appointed as Operative Grade C assistant to the aircraft cleaning supervisor. In September, 1997 the aircraft cleaning supervisor, Senior Operative Grade B (Worker B) who had been unwell for some time, transferred to another job. The worker claims that he had been asked in June, 1996, by the ramp operations superintendent (Management A) if he would be interested in acting-up in Worker B's job if it became available. The worker said that he would. (There is a dispute between the parties as to the time and sequence of events).
In August/ September, 1997, it was proposed that the worker should act-up in the senior operative B post. The Union pointed out that it was normal practice for the most senior person from the grade below (not the worker in this case) to act-up. The Union also quoted Article 4.4 of the Operatives Grades Agreement, 1971 which states:-
"where an employee has acted in a continuous temporary
capacity up to the date the permanent vacancy occurs, for
a period of three months or more, the vacancy will be filled
by the acting employee".
The Company maintains that Management A performed the duties of the Senior Operative B post, and that the job was advertised in December, 1997, and filled in March, 1998.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner and his recommendation is as follows:-
"I recommend that the worker and the Union accept that the Company
was correct in this instances".
(The worker was named in the above recommendation).
The Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 17th of September 1998, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 23rd of November, 1998.
3. 1. The worker was asked as far back as June, 1996, if he would be interested in the senior operative B post if it became available. He stated that he would.
2. Management A could not have performed the work as well as his own duties, as the Company claims. A list of his duties shows he had too many responsibilities.
3. The Company asked the worker to take on the post as it felt that he was the most able person for the job. The Union did not object to his appointment in the temporary position.
4. The worker fulfilled the duties of the Senior Operative B post for seven months (a list of the duties was supplied to the Court). He had also helped Worker B with these duties since June, 1996. He was told by Management A that he would be "looked after" financially for carrying out the duties.
4. 1. The worker did not act-up in the position at any time as he was not appointed to the position. Management A performed the duties until the post was filled in March, 1998.
2. The Union's position was that the next most senior person should get the job once Worker B had transferred.
3. The Union did not object when the job was advertised in December, 1997, and a number of candidates, including the worker, were interviewed. If the worker was already appointed to the post, presumably the Union would have objected.
Having carefully considered the submissions of the parties, the Court does not consider that any basis exists on which it would reverse the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner.
The appeal is disallowed and the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner affirmed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th November, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.