SECTION 8(1)(A), ANTI-DISCRIMINATION (PAY) ACT, 1974
ST PATRICK'S COLLEGE
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal by the Company and the Union against Equality Officer's Recommendation EP8/97 and appeal by Union for Determination that EP8/97 has not been implemented.
2. St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra, is a College of education which caters for approximately 1,000 full-time students. The College employs some 200 staff. The claimants involved in this claim are employed by the College either in the catering, housekeeping or cleaning areas. The comparators are employed as caretaker and general operative.
The full background to the case can be found in the Equality Officer's recommendation No. EP8/97.
The claimants are made up of both part-time and full-time employees, and at the date of the claim were paid at the hourly rate of £3.70 with the exception of those claimants on cashier duties. These rates are both lower than the comparators' rates of £4.86 and £5.12.
The dispute concerns claims by 31 named female claimants that they are entitled under the terms of the Anti-Discrimination (Pay) Act, 1974 to the same rate of remuneration as that paid to the named comparator on the highest rate of remuneration and, failing that, to be paid the same rate as the other named comparator on the lower rate.
The Equality Officer, in recommendation No. EP8/97, found in favour of 9 named claimants and found against 22 named claimants. Both parties appealed the recommendation - the Company on the 22nd of August, 1997, and the Union on the 4th of September, 1997. The Union's appeal is as follows:
(a) an appeal to have the Equality Officer's Recommendation No. EP08/1997 implemented in respect of nine named claimants
(b) an appeal against the Equality Officer's Recommendation No. EP08/1997 in respect of 22 other named claimants
The Company appealed on the following grounds:
(1) The Equality Officer erred in law and in fact when concluding that 'like work' existed between the jobs of Catering Assistant and Caretaker.
(2) The Equality Officer erred in law and in fact when concluding that 'like work' existed between the jobs of two Housekeepers (Ms. Last and Ms. Lynch) and that of Caretaker.
(3) Any other grounds which arise during the course of the appeal.
Both parties made further written and oral submissions at the Labour Court hearing which took place on the 3rd of February, 1998. The following is the Court's Determination.
This dispute, under the Anti-Discrimination (Pay) Act, 1974, was brought initially to an Equality Officer by SIPTU on behalf of Catering Assistants, Housekeepers (House), Cleaners, and Housekeepers (Residences) in employment at St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra.
Appeals were submitted to the Labour Court against the Equality Officer's findings by both parties to the dispute. The Labour Court heard the cases put by both sides, and carefully considered the job descriptions submitted. The Court visited the premises and site to establish the work involved in its context.
Having considered all relevant details, the Court finds as follows:
Catering Assistants and Housekeepers (House)
The Court agrees with the Equality Officer's findings that these jobs are like work with that of the Caretaker, and considers that they are also like work with the Maintenance man. However, the Court finds that the Caretaker holds a rate of pay that is specific to him personally, and that there are grounds other than sex for this rate of pay. On the other hand, the Maintenance man, paid at the General Operative rate, has no apparent basis for payment at a higher rate than that of Catering Assistants and Housekeepers, and the Court finds that these categories should be paid at the General Operative rate too.
Cleaners and Housekeepers (Residences)
The Court considers that the Equality Officer erred in finding that the work of the Cleaners and Housekeepers (Residences) was not like work with that of the Maintenance man. In relation to mental demands, working conditions and responsibility, the Court rates the work equal, while in relation to physical demands the Court rates the maintenance work as more demanding, but finds that the extra demands are not regular occurrences. On this basis, the Court finds that the work of Cleaners and Housekeepers (Residences) should attract the same pay rate as the General Operative rate of the Maintenance man.
The Court finds that the claimants described as Cleaners, Housekeepers (House) and Housekeepers (Residences) and Catering Assistants are all employed on work of equal value to the Comparator - (Hogan) described as a Maintenance man within the terms of Article 3(c) of the Anti-Discrimination (Pay) Act, 1974.
In view of the above, the Court rejects both appeals and determines the outcome of the claims as above.
The Court upholds the Equality Officer's recommendation in relation to retrospection.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10 September, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.