INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Alleged loss of pay due to loss of parity with Grade 5 Local Authority under the Teagasc restructuring deal of the PCW.
2. In 1989 the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) carried out a study on Administrative Support Services in Teagasc, following which a new six grade clerical/administrative structure was agreed which was similar to the grading structure in the Civil Service. The worker concerned had previously been an ACOT Staff Officer and was then graded at Grade 3 level. As recommended in the study, the worker retained her salary on a personal basis as it was above the maximum of the Grade 3 scale.
Under Clause 2(iii)(a) of the PCW the unions representing Grades 3 and 4 employees negotiated a restructuring deal, similar to that of HEO/EO in the Civil Service, which contained two long service increments and a higher scale. The worker concerned claims that she has always maintained parity with the Local Authority Grade 5 on a personal basis, the maximum of which is £22,201 per annum. The worker claims that she should be assimilated onto the higher scale for Grade 3 at the salary of £22,301 to ensure no loss of earnings and to compensate her for the loss of parity with the Grade 5 Local Authority pay scale.
In November, 1997, the worker concerned referred her claim to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. As the Employer objected to an investigation the worker then referred her claim to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. She agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. The Court investigated the dispute on the 24th of February, 1998, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. It has been the custom and practice that the worker concerned has maintained parity with the analogous Local Authority Grade 5. Her counterparts in the Local Authority receive a salary of £22,201, while Teagasc has proposed to pay her a salary of £21,959. The worker has been on the maximum of the pay scale for more
than ten years and, to ensure no loss of earnings, should be assimilated onto the higher scale for Grade 3s at the rate of £22,301.
2. The National Agricultural Advisory Education and Research Authority Act, 1977, the 1987 ACOT Staff Scheme for Offices Services, Assistant/Clerical/Administrative Grades, the Agriculture (Research, Training and Advice) Act, 1988, and the IPA Study of the Administrative Support Services in Teagasc guarantee the worker's right to suffer no loss of salary scale.
3. The 1988 Act entitles the worker to a scale of pay as distinct to a rate of pay. As the scale of pay has been changed under the restructuring deal the worker is entitled to the benefits of the increase afforded to her counterparts in the Local Authority.
4. 1. The worker concerned is pursuing this case without the support of her Trade Union and outside of the agreed negotiating procedures in Teagasc. IMPACT and SIPTU, who represent Grades 3 and 4, sought to negotiate a restructuring deal similar to that of the HEO/EO deal in the Civil Service. Following two ballots of their members the majority of staff accepted the deal.
2. The claimant was one of fourteen staff officers who, arising from the IPA Report, converted to Grade 3. Seven of them will be placed on the higher scale which is an exceptional arrangement as the normal ratio is one out of four. The average potential maximum salary for the fourteen Grade 3s will be £22,391, which is £190 more than would apply if they were on the Local Authority scale.
The Court is satisfied that pay adjustments in respect of the Claimant have always been determined by way of collective agreements negotiated between the Trade Union of which she is a member and the Employer. There is no basis on which increases due under Clause 2(iii)(a) of PCW should be determined differently.
Accordingly, the Court recommends that the Claimant accept the outcome of the Union ballot on negotiations recently concluded under PCW.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
5th March, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.