INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1); INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT; 1990
ENTERPRISE IRELAND (E.I.)
- AND -
MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE, FINANCE (MSF)
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Conditions of employment.
2. Enterprise Ireland was established in 1998 following the amalgamation of a number of state agencies such as An Bord Trachtala, Forbairt, Eolas, Forfas, etc. The employees are represented by both SIPTU and MSF. Labour Court Recommendations LCR16440 and LCR16585 sets out the background to this dispute.
MSF claims that following Labour Court Recommendation LCR16585 further discussions took place with management in relation to the Scientific Officer (S.O.) grade and the Senior Scientific Officer (S.S.O.) grade. Agreement was reached that the automatic progression from S.O. to S.S.O. would cease for new entrants. However, there was no agreement in relation to the Union's claim for a "once off" lump sum payment of £7,000 for each member of these grades.
Management states that there were two issues involved, (a) a claim by the Union for a salary scale increase for the S.O. and S.S.O. grades, and (2) a proposal by management to restructure the S.O./S.S.O. grades within the overall context of the grading structures within the agencies. While extensive discussions have taken place with MSF in relation to the above issues, no final agreement was possible in relation to the level of compensation to be paid to the S.O. and S.S.O. grades involved. Management has offered an ex-gratia payment of £2,000 (gross) to settle this claim which has been rejected by the Union.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Court for investigation under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 10th January, 2001.
3. 1. The Union is seeking compensation for the concession that new entrants to the S.O. grade would not have automatic progression to the S.S.O. grade.
2. Management has concluded an agreement with SIPTU and its members but has failed to conclude a similar agreement with MSF.
3. Every other grade in Enterprise Ireland's structure has benefited either by immediate improvements in pay, or by assimilation on to scales which would yield significant rewards over time.
4. Other staff members have obtained financial improvements in their pay structure without any concession by staff in terms of productivity, changes in work practices, extra responsibilities etc..
5. A sum of £7,000 as a once-off payment is warranted and justified under the circumstances.
4. 1. Management has sought to identify areas where anomalies have existed in the grading structures, and have tried to address these within Public Sector pay policy.
2. Agreement was reached with MSF in relation to the cessation of the automatic progression from S.O. grade to the S.S.O. grade. Only new appointments to the S.O. grade will be affected by this agreement.
3. Management believe that its offer of £2,000 (gross) represents a fair and reasonable offer to settle this claim.
4. The claim by the Union is excessive and unwarranted. The agreement will not impact on the current S.O. grade. It will only affect new employees who will be recruited on a contract basis.
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties and taking into account the background to this case recommends that the employer's offer of £2,000 be increased to £4,300 in full and final settlement of this dispute.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th JANUARY, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.