INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE, FINANCE
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Parity of differential.
2. The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union for an increase in the accommodation allowance payable to Station Managers employed by Teagasc at its research stations.
At present Teagasc employs three Station Managers. They receive an accommodation allowance of £703 per year. The Union is seeking that the allowance be increased to £2,000 per year similar to the increase given to Heads of Department in 1996. The Company states that there is no justification for this claim as the allowances are paid for different reasons. One is an accommodation allowance and the other is for management responsibilities.
The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission held on the 9th of September, 1998. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 7th of May, 1999, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The accommodation allowance payable to Station Managers has not been increased since 1986.
2. Over the years the Station Managers have taken on additional duties such as:-
(a) management of budgets,
(b) staff logs in connection with Projects,
(c) organisation of activities involving outside bodies e.g. FÁS training
3. The Heads of Department received an increased allowance in 1996, the Station Managers should receive a similar increase payable from 1996.
4. The allowance paid to Station Managers should be updated using a base line of £200 either:- (i) in line with salary increase of the Heads of Department or (ii) in line with housing cost index.
4. 1. The Union's claim cannot be justified as the allowances paid to Station Managers and Heads of Department are for different reasons. One is in lieu of accommodation and the other is in respect of management responsibilities
2. Station Managers from day one had responsibility for managing budgets. The Company contends that the additional duties of staff logs and organisation of activities do not warrant an increase in allowance.
3. The Station Managers are well paid and adequately rewarded for the duties they perform.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court accepts that the allowance in question is:
(a) in the nature of an accommodation allowance and,
(b) has been seriously eroded in value since the last adjustment in 1986.
The Court recommends that the allowance be adjusted by reference to changes in the Building Index previously used for this purpose with the base year being 1986. The adjustment should take effect from the date of this recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
31st May, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.