INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR385/99GF.
2. The dispute concerns a claim, by the Union, on behalf of one worker, who was employed by the Company as a Grade IV clerk in 1990 and who has been the Company's Staff Travel Officer (Clerk Grade 1) since 1995, that the grade appropriate to her role is that of Superintendent. The claim was rejected by the Company. (The Company, in October, 1998, in recognition of the worker's contribution in the area, paid her a once-off sum of £1,000.)
Since "Job Evaluation" as a process was set aside by the Company/Union Agreement in 1993, an informal evaluation of the worker's job took place which resulted in a rating for her job appropriate to Grade 1 Clerk. Notwithstanding this, the Company offered the worker an increase of approximately £2,100 per annum, an offer that has been rejected.
Agreement was not reached by the parties and the dispute was investigated by a Rights Commissioner who found the comparisons offered by the Union to be good and valid.
He recommended that the claimant be appointed to the position of Superintendent Level II, from January 6, 1999.
The Company appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court heard the appeal on the 13th of September, 1999.
1. The comparisons offered by the Union to the Rights Commission are not valid and as a consequence of this, the Rights Commissioner made a decision based on information which would not stand up to close independent scrutiny (details supplied to the Court).
2. Discussions have taken place recently with the Union on a possible reintroduction of some limited form of Job Evaluation system. The Company would be willing to have this particular job processed at the earliest possible opportunity whatever evaluation system might emerge.
3. The most that could have been recommended by the Rights Commissioner in this case was either an independent evaluation of the work being undertaken on a factor by factor basis or a full formal evaluation of the job under the terms of Job Evaluation, as existed prior to the 1994 Agreement. In Labour Court Recommendation LCR 15833, the Court directed that a third party measure one job against another, in order to obtain the relative merits of jobs in each grade. Such an exercise was not possible at the Rights Commissioner's investigation into this matter.
1. The Union rejects the findings of the informal job evaluation and contends that the worker's duties and responsibilities have changed significantly since 1995, to such an extent that her job warrants upgrading to Superintendent Grade, in particular, when her duties are compared to those of Superintendent in the Travel Shops, Ticket Office or Tele Sales.
2. The Company recognises that a significant change occurred in her role but instead of upgrading her they have made two offers of incremental scale increases, first in 1998 - £1,000 (accepted) and secondly in 1999 - £2,100 (rejected). This is not an adequate way of rewarding the worker for the fundamental changes that have occurred in her job over the past five years.
3. The Company has failed to engage in meaningful discussions on the introduction of a new Job Evaluation process and this has left employees with no alternative but to pursue grievances through third parties. For the Company to refuse the worker's claim for upgrading on the basis of an ad-hoc Job Evaluation is unacceptable.
The Court is not satisfied that a case for upgrading can be decided without an in-depth evaluation being made of all aspects of the post.
The Court, therefore, does not uphold the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation but decides that an evaluation should be undertaken, by an independent third party, of this post.
The Court, accordingly, upholds the Company's appeal.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th September, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.