INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
NATIONAL COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Hearing arising from LCR 15759
2. The original claim was on behalf of part-time technical assistants (PTAs) employed by the College for pro-rata remuneration with full-time technical assistants. A hearing took place in December 1997 and LCR No.15759 issued in January, 1998. It is Point 1 of the Recommendation which is in dispute in the present case. Point 1 reads as follows:
"Employees covered are those who work at least 8 hours per week and have one year reckonable service in the previous year."
Following LCR No. 15759, a College proposal regarding eligible PTAs issued, and in Point 2 it was agreed that reckonable service would be 416 hours per year (8 hours per week by 52 weeks). (It emerged at the hearing that the 416 hours had been agreed on prior to the Court hearing in December, 1997.) The difference between the parties is that the College is applying the terms on the basis of 416 hours in any one year over the previous 4 years, whereas the Union believes that the 416 hours should be cumulative over the 4 years. There are 30 academic weeks in the year.
It was agreed to refer the dispute to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 A Labour Court Hearing took place on the 3rd of May, 2000.
3. 1. Point 5 of LCR 15759 and the College proposal refers to staff who "accumulated an aggregate equivalent to one year of reckonable service (416 hours) within the previous 4 years. Therefore, reckonable service is cumulative service.
- 2 If the College's proposal was applied, it would mean that a PTA who worked 415 hours in any one year would not qualify, and that the those hours would not be taken into account in the following year's calculation. The Union would not have agreed to the proposals if this was the case.
4. 1. According to the Union's interpretation, with 30 academic weeks in the year, it would mean that PTAs could work as little as 8 hours per week and still qualify in 2 years
2. The College would be unable to continue to employ PTAs if it was faced with the prospect that 416 cumulative hours during a 4 year period would place PTAs in a quasi full-time position. This would put the College in a very inflexible position, as it would be unable to recruit technical assistants on a part-time basis as they could ,in time, attract a certain permanency. This was not the intention in recruiting technical assistants.
The Court has carefully considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties, and is conscious of the significant progress made.
The Court is satisfied that the agreement reached by the parties in relation to the 416 hours "being one year of reckonable service" was reached before the Court hearing, and that its application was not clarified at that time.
The Court, having considered all aspects of this case, recommends that the parties enter into further discussions to examine the possibility of reaching an agreement centred around a figure of hours less than 416, that would enable some more people to qualify but would also address the concerns of the employer.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th May, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.