INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
NEC SEMICONDUCTORS (IRL) LTD.
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR3031/00/GF.
2. The Union is in dispute with the Company following the failure by four of its members to progress to a higher scale of pay, despite their progression being recommended by their supervisor. The Union claims that its members have acquired the necessary experience and should advance to the next pay level.
Management rejected the Union's claim and states that due process was followed at all stages of the appraisal procedures.
The dispute was the subject of a Rights Commissioner's hearing which took place on 26th January, 2001. The following is the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation.
"The system has been introduced in consultation with the union and following deliberations by an internal working party. I feel it is not within my remit to recommend a change in it. However, I must place on record my observation, that for a person to be recommended for a grade progression by their supervisor only to have it rejected by management can only have a damaging affect on personnel. It should be reviewed.
I feel that I have no alternative and I recommend in favour of the company."
The Union appealed the Recommendation to the Labour Court on the 26th March, 2001 in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th September, 2001.
3. 1. The workers have achieved all the requirements necessary in the terms of "Total Production Maintenance" (TPM) to progress to a higher pay scale.
2. The workers concerned were recommended by their supervisor for progression to the next pay level
3. The workers were denied advancement to a higher pay scale by the audit team on the basis that they were not actively involved in small group activity during the
audit period. The workers reject this claim.
4. 1. The Company operates in a very competitive market where continuous improvement, innovations and the ability to respond to change quickly are essential for the business.
2. The progression system was agreed with the Union and has been in operation for some years. It forms part of the Partnership Agreement and was introduced
by conciliation with the internal working parties.
3. In April, 2000, the period in which the claim refers, 81% of all applications for progression were successful.
4. Due process was followed at all stages of the progression system. Information was fed back to the relevant individuals at all stages of the progression process
The Union appealed the recommendation of a Rights Commissioner on the issue of the applications for grade progression. The appellants had all been refused progression to the next level on the basis that there was no evidence that they had achieved the requirements necessary in the areas of TPM. This was despite having been recommended for progression by their supervisor.
The Court is satisfied that the progression system is quite clear as to the necessary criteria for progression and the steps involved in the process as agreed by the parties. Recommendation for progression by the supervisor is no guarantee of success; the final say rests with the Audit Team. This clearly was the procedure adopted in these cases.
The Court is satisfied that enough evidence has been adduced by management to indicate that the appellants were not actively/effectively involved in small teams and were so notified during the period in question. The comment boxes on the assessment forms indicate that there was a need for improvement and that their performance was not satisfactory.
Therefore, the appeal fails.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
_31st October, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.