INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Point of scale.
2. The issue in dispute is the Union's claim under Clause 2(iii) of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (PCW) for the re-grading of four Library Assistants. They are currently paid at the maximum of the Executive 1 scale and are claiming remuneration at the maximum of the H.E.O. scale.
The issue was one of several discussed at a conciliation conference at the Labour Relations Commission on the 26th of May, 2000. Agreement was reached on many of the issues but not on the claim on behalf of the four employees. On the 5th of October, 2000 this issue was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 8th of November, 2000.
3. 1. The Union's claim is based on increased duties being carried out by the claimants. These duties were identified by an agreed facilitator and job descriptions were agreed with Management. However, Management would not allow the facilitator to decide the reward which should be placed on the additional duties.
2. At a Labour Court hearing on the 1st of May, 1998 Management stated that "SIPTU staff would not be asked to do any duties previously being done by retired professional staff". However, due to the non-replacement of former professional staff the claimants are now carrying out many of their duties.
3. The College has made significant savings in the area of professional staff pay. The cost of the Library as a percentage of total expenditure has been reduced from 8.1% in 1993/94 to 6.7% in 1997/98. The claimants should be compensated by progression to the maximum of the HEO pay scale.
4. 1. The agreed job descriptions confirm that the claimants are Supervisors. In College Supervisors are paid on Secretarial and Executive scales. Concession of the claim would result in the claimants being paid at a similar level to Administrators, Lecturers and professionally qualified Library staff. This would have serious disruptive knock-on effects on the salary structures applying throughout College.
2. The claimants are not being asked to carry out specialist professional work and are being very well rewarded for taking on additional supervisory and/or administrative duties.
3. The Union's claim is significantly in excess of public sector pay limits. Under the terms of the PCW offer the maximum point of the Executive 1 scale would be increased by 11%. This would give the claimants a significantly greater increase than any other College staff who have the EO/HEO link.
The matter now before the Court is part of a long running dispute between the parties in relation to an agreement under Clause 2(iii) of PCW. This matter has been before the Court on three previous occasions. The parties have also had the services of independent facilitators and have engaged in conciliation at the Labour Relations Commission. Considerable progress has been made and the Union's re-grading claim on behalf of four individuals remains the only significant obstacle to final agreement.
The job descriptions agreed with the independent facilitator confirmed that the four individuals in question are properly classified as supervisors. The facilitator did, however, identify additional duties which have devolved to these posts in recent years above those which applied when the current post holders were appointed. While those additional duties are not sufficient to justify upgrading of the posts to the HEO scale, the Court believes that they do warrant the introduction of a special responsibility allowance in addition to the offer already made.
The Court recommends that subject to a final agreement being concluded between the parties on all outstanding matters under Clause 2(iii) of PCW, a Special Responsibility Allowance of £745 per annum should be paid to the four individuals whose posts were examined by the independent facilitator, on a personal to holder basis.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27 November, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.