INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR2062/00/JH.
2. The appeal concerns a worker who is employed as a Claims Advisor Grade A. He is due to retire from the employment in November, 2001. The worker claims that he should be re-graded as Team Leader Grade E. The current grading system (performance related ) was agreed between the MSF and the Company in 1999 and it replaced the service related system. All staff were informed in writing of their new grading. The worker expressed his dissatisfaction in writing to Management. The issue was processed through the agreed appeals procedure and the worker was re-graded to Grade B. The re-grading to Grade B did not involve a direct salary increase for the worker. The Company maintained that it provided a greater opportunity for him to increase his earnings through the performance related element of the new system. The worker refused to accept this grade on the basis that there was no monetary reward and continued to claim Grade E. The Company rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. On the 20th December, 2000, the Rights Commissioner issued her recommendation as follows;
"On the basis of the submissions made, I do not recommend concession of the worker's claim. I do recommend that he co-operates fully with the agreed structure and system of appraisal in an effort to increase his pensionable salary prior to his retirement."
( The worker was named in the Rights Commissioner's recommendation )
On the 30th January, 2001 the worker appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court. The Court heard the appeal on the 26th April, 2001. The hearing was adjourned to allow the claimant to provide a further submission which was considered by the Court. A resumed hearing was held on the 25th May, 2001.
3. 1. The worker concerned has over 44 years unbroken service. The problems associated with his employment commenced in 1980, when the worker was forced to join Liability Claims to assist with a huge volume of work which he completed efficiently and competently. His colleagues in that section received far higher remuneration for a lesser workload. The worker was resented and treated unfairly by his immediate manager and denied opportunities for promotion. He was harassed and victimised, over a long number of years, and has been issued with a number of dismissal notices (details supplied to the Court ).
2. The regrading offered to the worker was totally inadequate and insufficient given his vast experience, and his expertise as Senior Claims handler going back to 1974. The appellant undertook a very significant volume of work in a very stressful environment . The salary of the worker does not reflect his duties and responsibilities over many years. The worker's claim is for a pension, index-linked to inflation, equal to his present salary, and loss of earnings, which he claims are deserved and were denied, as follows; £30,000 for five years 1984-1989, £35,000 for five years 1990-1995, and £40,000 for five years 1996-2001.
4. 1. The current grading system, including the appeals procedure, was agreed between the Company and MSF. The worker was a member of the union at the time of the agreement. The system is a fair and equitable one and applies to all staff. Other equivalent workers to the appellant are graded similarly.
2. The appellant sought an appeal of his assigned grade through the agreed procedure. He was represented by MSF during the appeals process and was re-graded to a higher grade applicable to the duties and responsibilities of his position. The grading being sought by the appellant (Grade E1) is not applicable in any way to his role as a Claims Advisor.
3. The appellant has refused to sign the Authority Charter for his position and has also refused to co-operate with the Company's performance appraisal system. This serves only to adversely impact on his earnings potential.
The Court has given careful consideration to the submissions made by the parties and to the extensive documentation supplied by the claimant.
The Court notes that the outcome of the appeals process to which the claimant submitted his grievance in December, 1999, is intended to be final and binding on all parties. In these circumstances the Court believes that the claimant should accept the outcome of that process, which is set out in the Company's letter of 1st December, 1999.
The appeal is disallowed and the Recommendation of the Rights Commissioner is affirmed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th, JUNE, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.