INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Basic rates of pay.
2. The dispute concerns the basic rates of pay of three cooks and one chef who were previously employed by An Foras Taluntais (AFT) before the establishment of Teagasc. Their pay rates are linked with those of Health Board staff, while the rates of other Teagasc employees are linked to local authorities. The ex-AFT scale is a single point scale, slightly below the minimum point of the Health Board cook 1 scale, which is a thirteen point scale. The Union is seeking the application of the Health Board rates of pay with assimilation based on the length of service of the staff. It is also seeking the establishment of a working group to examine the duties and pay rates of the staff concerned. In addition, the Union contends that the claimants did not receive special pay increases awarded under the PCW and subsequent agreements.
The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 25th of September, 1998. In order to rationalise pay rates Teagasc proposed to assimilate the ex-AFT cooks onto the maximum point of the ex-ACOT (An Chomhairle Oiliuna Talmhaiochta) cook scale with effect from the 1st of June, 1995, but rejected the setting up of a review group. It proposed to place the chef on the minimum point of the Head Cook (Health Board) scale with effect from the 1st of April, 1994. This scale was to remain a single point scale. The Union rejected the proposals and requested referral of the dispute to the Labour Court in January, 1999, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. Teagasc agreed to the referral and the Court investigated the issue on the 30th of March, 1999.
3. 1. There is an acknowledged relationship between the claimants and similar staff employed by the Health Boards. However, increases applied to Health Board staff in the late 1980s were never applied to the claimants. In addition, they did not receive increases under special pay clauses of national agreements.
2. The Union is seeking full application of the Health Board scales, with assimilation based on service, from the dates the increases were implemented in the Health Boards. A review group should also be established to examine the duties and pay rates of the staff concerned.
4. 1. Teagasc's proposed offer would increase the current pay of the ex-AFT cooks by 14.82%. The assimilation to the maximum of the ex-ACOT cook scale from the 1st of June, 1995, represents an increase of 12.34% from that date. There is no justification for a higher increase.
2. Teagasc's offer will put the ex-AFT cooks on the same rate of pay as their counterparts in Teagasc colleges and will rationalise the grading structure in Teagasc. Although the college canteens operate on a much bigger scale than in research centres, the claimants are being offered the same rate of pay.
Having considered the information supplied by the parties, the Court recommends as follows:-
The cooks will be placed on the maximum point of the ACOT cook's scale, with effect from the 1st of June, 1994.
Taking into account the Union's position re changes in duties, etc. of the cooks in Teagasc over the years since last considered, a Review Group should be set up to evaluate the work of the Teagasc cooks relative to others in the organisation.
It should be recognised that the recommendation above breaks the old pay association with the Health Boards, albeit that this was not a parity link.
A rate should be agreed between the parties for the chef, with same calculated back to the 1st of June, 1994.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th April, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.