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: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Relativity claim.
2. In 1994 a restructuring agreement (i.e. Chadwick Agreement) was concluded between Teagasc, SIPTU and IMPACT under Clause 2 (iii) A of Annex 1 of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (P.C.W.). The restructuring provided for the replacement of four grades i.e. Chief Agricultural Development Officer (CADO); Senior Agricultural Development Officer (SADO); Higher Agricultural Development Officer (HADO) ; and Agricultural Development Officer (ADO) with the following grades;
Grade I Assistant Agricultural Inspector/Engineer III.
Grade II Engineer II.
Grade III Agricultural Inspector/Engineer I.
Grade IV Senior Inspector/Principal Officer.
The Grades of HADO and SADO were incorporated into the new Grade II. As the SADO salary scale was above the maximum of the new Grade II salary scale, the staff concerned were permitted to hold their salaries on a redcircled basis.
The Union claims that the grade of Senior Agricultural Development Officer (SADO) had a long standing relativity with the grade of Chief Agricultural Development Officer (CADO) which stood at 91% of the CADO scale. It states that it wants this relativity restored following the restructuring of the grades under the Chadwick Agreement.
Teagasc rejects the claim and states that the relativity between the grades was not part of the P.C.W. agreement which both parties signed up to and which was subsequently implemented.
As there was no agreement between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 24th March, 1998 but no agreement was reached. On the 5th of May, 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 9th July, 1998.
3. 1. The pay structure for SADOs has always been 91% of that of CADO's. The Union wants this relativity restored.
2. The cost of conceding the claim will be minimal. There will be no knock-on effects.
3. The staff concerned (13) have given long service to Teagasc. All have less than 5 years to retirement. Teagasc should concede the claim.
4. There was never any agreement to discontinue the relativity between the two grades in the context of the P.C.W. agreement.
4. 1. The relativity between the two grades was not part of the P.C.W. agreement which both parties signed up to and which has been fully implemented.
2. The Unions concerned balloted their members (including former SADOs) and accepted the restructuring agreement.
3. The Union's claim is inconsistent with its acceptance of the "Chadwick Agreement".
4. Concession of the claim would have cost implications for Teagasc which cannot be justified and would also be in breach of the P.C.W.
It is clear that in the "Chadwick Agreement" and in the subsequent Restructuring Agreement under Clause 2 (iii) of PCW, the parties failed to make clear and mutally understood provisions in respect of the application of future pay increases to former SADO's. The parties now have diametrically opposed interpretations as to what was intended in that regard. In effect, the Court is being asked to import into their agreements an element of clarity which the parties could have included but did not include.
Having carefully considered the submissions of the parties and in the absence of any consensus as to what was agreed, the Court recommends that former SADO's who had reached the maximum of their scale prior to the implementation of the Chadwick Agreement, should receive an allowance of £1,500 p.a. with effect from June 1994 above the maximum point of the Grade11 scale inclusive of LSI's. This allowance should apply to the individuals concerned on a strictly personal to holder basis.
This recommendation is made in the unusual circumstances of this case, and should not have any precedent value.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd September, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.