INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, GALWAY
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Pension entitlements
2. The Union has submitted a claim on behalf of an individual in relation to pension entitlements. The claimant currently holds a permanent post as a lecturer in the College. The Union states that the claimant spent eight years
as a Temporary Appointee (TTA) before becoming a junior lecturer. The claimant is seeking credit for pension purposes for the time as a TTA.
The College rejected the claim on the basis that the issue of pension entitlements for TTA's has already been the subject of a Labour Court hearing in 1996 where the Court found in favour of the College. It states that the College has discretion under the existing pension scheme, to add up to ten years service when it comes to calculating pensions.
The Union argues that the Labour Court recommendation referred to above related to pensions for TTA's whereas this case is about credit for pension purposes for permanent staff in respect of time spent as TTA's.
As no agreement was possible between the parties, the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission.
Conciliation conferences were held on the 9th of December, 1999 and the 3rd of February, 2000 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 20th March, 2000 under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 10th of October, 2000 (the earliest date suitable to the parties).
3. 1. The Union does not accept that any period of service as a Temporary Teaching Appointee (T.T.A.) is of a "trainee
or apprenticeship" nature.
2. Advertisements for T.T.A. positions make no mention of training or apprenticeship. No discussion of traineeship takes place at the pre-employment interview.
3. No one who ever held the position of T.T.A. was ever given details of a "trainee or apprenticeship" programme because no such programme existed.
4. The Pension Statute CLXI, which has statutory force, explicitly provides that all full-time continuous service in a
permanent full-time capacity shall count as pensionable service.
4. 1. The College is prepared to recognise service as a TTA for pension purposes for those who subsequently are made permanent on the basis that the first two years would not count.
2. The TTA's are teaching appointments. Involvement in and output of research work is not expected from this group as it would be from permanent lecturers.
3. The pay of TTA's is different from those of lecturers, the job is different and there is a learning curve in terms of ability to do the job.
4. Any concession of this claim would be far reaching in that it would in effect treat TTA's as permanent full-time members of staff without any element of traineeship. There would also be cost implications in terms of retrospection and an ongoing cost when other TTA's are taken into consideration.
The Court has considered this case in detail. It is clear to the Court that Statute CLXI is intended to ensure that service prior to a permanent appointment should be regarded as pensionable service, other than where such service is regarded as being for training or apprenticeship purposes.
The Court is satisfied that the initial part of the worker's service could be regarded as a training period due to her lack of previous lectureship experience. Accordingly, the Court recommends that management's offer to give full recognition for pension purposes of a period of six years following her first two years service as a temporary teaching appointee, should be accepted in settlement of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th November, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.