INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Method of application of Clause 2(iii) of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (P.C.W.)
2. The Union is in dispute with Teagasc over the method of application of Clause 2 (iii) of the P.C.W in relation to the grade of Higher Agricultural Advisory Officer (HADO). In 1994 a restructuring agreement (i.e. Chadwick Agreement) was concluded between Teagasc and SIPTU which provided for the assimilation of the HADO grade into a new Grade 2 on the 1st July, 1994. At that time the maximum of the new Grade 2 scale was higher than the maximum of the HADO scale.
Teagasc and SIPTU subsequently negotiated an agreement under Clause 2 (iii) of the P.C.W. on behalf of the same staff. The agreement provided for extended scales and two long-service increments. The result of this agreement on former HADO's had the effect that they would not reach the maximum of the new Grade 2 until April, 1998 and therefore, would not qualify for the long-service increments.
The Union claims that the new extended scales were introduced with effect from the 1st June, 1994. It states that as the old HADO scale was still in place at this time that the pay scales for HADO's should have been adjusted from that date which would have qualified them for the long-service increments.
Teagasc claims that it has implemented the terms of the agreements reached between both sides. It states that the situation of the former HADO's was not foreseen or planned but was a consequence of the way agreement was reached.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 26th May, 1998 but no agreement was reached. On the 8th June, 1998 the dispute was referred to the Labour Court under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 25th August, 1998.
3. 1. The new extended scales were introduced retrospective from 1st June, 1994. The HADO scale should have been adjusted from this date.
2. The staff concerned have given long service to Teagasc. Some HADO's have spent many years at the maximum of their grade. Teagasc should concede the claim.
3. The manner in which Clause 2(iii) of the P.C.W. was implemented by Teagasc has discriminated against HADO's receiving the long-service increments.
4. The staff concerned were given written assurances that they would reach the maximum of the Grade 2 scale by 1st April, 1997.
4. 1. Any concession of the claim would have repercussive effects for Teagasc and would also breach the PCW cost parameters.
2. This is a new claim which was not put forward during negotiations on the Restructuring Agreement for the staff concerned.
3. The provisions of the Restructuring Agreement have been implemented in full in respect of the claimants.
4. The staff concerned in this claim are not being deprived of long-service increments but are merely being asked to serve the normal three years on the maximum of the scale to qualify for such benefits.
Having regard to the circumstances of this case, the Court recommends that the Long Service Increments provided for by the Restructuring Agreement under Clause 2(iii) of PCW of December 1997, should be applied (in the manner agreed under the Restructuring Agreement) with effect from 1st June 1994 to the maximum of the scale then applicable to the former HADO's who are associated with this claim. The resultant salary of the individuals concerned should be adjusted, if necessary, so as not to exceed the maximum (including LSI's) of the Grade II scale.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
2nd September, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.