INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN TRINITY COLLEGE
- AND -
BUILDING AND ALLIED TRADES UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Progression from Pay Executive Scale Level 2 to Level 1.
2. The position of College Area Executive Craftsperson (AEC) was created in 1993. Employees are paid in accordance with the Executive 2 scale, which is linked to the Public Service Executive Officer/Higher Executive Officer (EO/HEO) scales. The post of AEC was intended as a promotional post and AEC's had a differential above the pay of the Craftspersons, whose pay is linked to those of Local Authorities. However, as a result of national wage agreements and analogue agreements, this differential has been eroded.
In March, 2000, the Union put forward a claim for the restoration of the differential. The issue was the subject of local negotiations and of two conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 12th of December, 2000 and the 10th of January, 2001. As agreement was not possible, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 8th of February, 2001 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 29th of March, 2001. At the Court hearing it was agreed by both parties that this claim covered the TCD Group of Craft Unions.
3. 1. The AEC's have seen their traditional pay differential with the craftspersons eroded by national and analogue pay agreements. The differential between AEC's and craftsmen will be reduced from £55.83 (70.89 Euros) to £28.39 (36.05 Euros) on the application of the 1st October 2000 increase. Chargehands who previously earned £27.11 (34.42 Euros) less than AEC's will overtake them by £2.15 (2.73 Euros).
2. The Unions are seeking that the current Executive 2 scale of five incremental points is extended to a nine point incremental scale, by opening up the Executive 1 scale and eliminating the first point, which is below the maximum point of the Executive scale 2.
3. Since the inception of the AEC's in the early nineties their duties and responsibilities have expanded. They have co-operated with the College to make a great success of a new development of maintenance working. However, they have also been penalised for settling with the College early in the PCW negotiations by being refused the 2.5% top-up payment from which most other employees have benefited.
4. 1. The College recognises that a difficulty has arisen as a result of the pay increases awarded under the analogue agreements to the craftworkers. The previous differential has been eroded. However, there was no agreed differential in place.
2. The College does not believe that the scope and scale of responsibility of the AEC's merits promotion to the Executive 1 scale. Candidates for promotion are reviewed by a College Promotional Review Committee and the funding authorities would not permit upgrading to the Executive 1 scale.
3. The College's funding authorities have rejected a proposal to set up a fixed differential between the AEC's and the craftworkers. This would have broken the link with the EO/HEO grades in the Public Service and linked the claimants to the Local Authority scales. This may have disadvantaged them in the future if a significant increase was awarded to the EO/HEO's under the benchmarking exercise.
4. The Unions' claim is cost increasing and there is no provision under the national wage agreements to fund it. In addition, concession of the claim would result in knock-on claims from other staff in the College and from similar categories of staff throughout the public sector.
Having considered all aspects of this claim, the Court is of the view that the rate of pay for AEC's should be increased by 2.5% under similar terms as applied to other employees in the college who gained increases. Therefore, the parties should meet to discuss and agree terms for offsetting this payment, which should be paid, retrospective to the 1st of June, 2000. These circumstances are unique and should not be used as a precedent.
Further, the Court recommends that the group of unions should decide whether to maintain the existing link between the AEC's and the EO/HEO grades, which will be the subject of review under the Benchmarking exercise.
Alternatively, the group of unions should decide whether to pursue a direct link between the craft rate and the AEC's rate, thereby breaking the existing link with the EO/HEO grades.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th April, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.