INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
2. The Union has submitted a claim for the regrading of four of its members from grade 8 to grade 7. The workers concerned are employed in the Building Services Section as Senior Building Officers grade 8 (HEO). The Union is seeking to have these posts up-graded to grade 7 (APO).
Management has rejected the claim on the basis that grade 8 in FÁS is tied to the grade of Higher Executive Officer (HEO) in the Civil Service and cannot deviate from that. It claims that the current grading structure is appropriate for the Building Services Section and does not accept that any further regrading is warranted.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 29th of September, 1999, but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 22nd of October, 1999, under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 16th of December, 1999.
3. 1. Senior Building Officers now carry responsibility for ensuring compliance with the extensive body of new Statutory Regulations brought in since 1990. The current grade structure does not reflect this added responsibility.
2. A similar type of problem arose within the IDA and following a review of the duties the posts were regraded.
3. When the post of Senior Building Officer, is compared to similar posts in the wider Public Service, the current grading of that post in FÁS is out of line.
4. 1. While a lot of jobs have changed over the years, the grading structure in FÁS is tied to the Civil Service grades and cannot be changed.
2. Management is satisfied that the current grading structure is appropriate for the Building Services Section and does not accept that any further regrading is warranted.
3. FÁS must operate within the number of posts and grades approved by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It does not have the discretion to arbitrarily create four additional grade 7 posts for Building Services staff.
4. Concession of the claim would create a precedent for further regrading claims by other groups of staff within FÁS.
The Court has considered the arguments put forward on both sides. The Court is satisfied that the grade of Senior Building Officer should be independently evaluated by way of comparison with others in the same grade, in the light of the statutory duty changes that have taken place in the job since 1990. The Court recommends that theFÁSMediation Panel should be invoked to carry out such an evaluation under the auspices of an agreed independent chairperson.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th January, 2000.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.