INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
CENTRAL FISHERIES BOARD
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR1873/00/JH.
2. The Company employ 500 staff at 6 locations. The dispute concerns the application for upgrading from Assistant Principal Officer (finance) to Principal Officer (standard) effective from 1st July 1998. There are two workers involved in this dispute. In 1998, the then newly appointed Chief Executive Officer conducted a review of the organisation's structure and staffing. It was decided to re-title the posts to Director of Human Resources and Director of Finance/I.T. The application for upgrading is supported by the Chief Executive Officer.
The dispute was referred to the Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 26th October, 2000, the Rights Commissioner recommended:-
"For the reasons set out in the conclusions above, I recommend that the claim submitted by (the workers) should be address in the following manner:
1. Both claimants should receive the difference between the A.P.O. (finance) and the P.O. (standard) scales for the period 1st July, 1998 to 31st December, 2000 as a lump sum payment, (based on the normal progression arrangements).
2. The grades of those staff reporting directly to the C.E.O. should be assessed independently (preferably by an independent assessor) having regard to the comparative responsibilities of Regional Managers and each of the senior managers and the outcome of the Buckley review and any relevant elements of the human resources review. This review of the grading of the posts reporting directly to the C.E.O. to be completed before the 31st January, 2001 and to include the appropriate date of any upgrading."
On the 7th December 2000, the Company appealed the Rights Commissioners recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13 (9) of the Industrial Relations Act ,1969 and the Court heard the appeal on 29th May 2001.
3. 1. This claim is outside the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
2. It would be highly unusual, to see a Principal (standard) Officer in an administrative capacity, reporting to a Principal higher) Officer.
3. The ultimate executive responsibility for the finance and personnel function of each regional board rests with the Chief Executive of that board.
4. Independent consultants have been appointed to carry out a review of the Fisheries Boards and it would be inappropriate to address any grading in advance of the conclusion (report is expected to be available during the summer of 2001) of this review which may have implications for the two posts in question.
4. 1. Traditionally the grading for the Head of Personnel in the Fisheries Service was the same as the Regional Fisheries Boards' Chief Officer.
2. In 1998, an independent assessor was appointed to review the grading of the 7 regional Chief Officers. The assessor recommended that the Regional Chief Officers be re-graded from Assistant Principal Office (Finance Scale) to the level of Principal Officer (standard scale) Civil Service.
3. Significant changes and developments have taken place, which brought increased responsibility and accountability to the posts.
4. No special pay increase has been paid to the workers under the P.C.W.
Having considered the submissions of the parties the Court is satisfied the Rights Commissioner Recommendation should be modified so as to provide that the proposed
independent assessment be confined to the posts of the particular claimants in this case. It should also be modified so as to provide that the lump sum payment recommended be paid without prejudice to the outcome of the proposed independent assessment. To that extent the Board's appeal is allowed.
The Court so determines.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
1st June, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.