INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
COUNTY ENTERPRISE BOARDS
(REPRESENTED BY DEPARTMENT OF ENTERPRISE, TRADE & EMPLOYMENT)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. (1) Pay and (2) Pension Allowance.
2. There are 35 County and City Enterprise Boards throughout the country. The Boards were established in 1993 to combat unemployment levels by providing assistance to small and local enterprise. They are funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Each Board is staffed by a Chief Executive Officer, an Assistant Chief Executive Officer and Business Advisors.
The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Unions on behalf of the Assistant Chief Executive Officers and Business Advisors for a revised salary proportional to that of Chief Executive Officers and a 12% pension allowance in lieu of pensionability with full retrospection to the date of appointment, as was applied to the Chief Executive Officers.
The Department made three offers which were rejected by the Unions. Local discussions failed to resolve the issue.
The dispute was the subject of two conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission held on the 24th of November, 2000 and on the 14th of February, 2001. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 9th of March, 2001 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. Compromise proposals were under consideration subsequent to the conciliation conference and prior to the Labour Court hearing which took place on the 17th of October, 2001, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. Advertisements for the posts of Chief Executive Officer and Assistant Chief Executive Officer are almost identical. Both posts require the same qualifications and similar duties of the posts are specified. Advertisements for the post of Business Advisor specify the desirability of a third level qualification.
2. The workers concerned should receive a rate of pay proportional to the Chief Executive Officer and a 12% pension allowance in lieu of pensionability with full retrospection to the date of appointment as was agreed for the Chief Executive Officers.
4. 1. There will be no reduction in pay for the workers. Any worker in receipt of a salary which exceeds the offer will retain it on a personal basis.
2. Three offers were made and rejected by the Unions. The final offer made represents an improvement in the terms and conditions of the workers concerned and far exceeds their entitlements under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness and should be accepted.
It is noted that following the final conciliation conference and before the Court hearing SIPTU, having been so authorised by the claimants, put forward a five point proposal to resolve the dispute as follows:
1. Business Advisors would be offered a scale equivalent to the local authority Grade VI scale.
2. Assistant Chief Executive Officers would be offered a scale equivalent to the local authority Grade VII.
3. Staff currently serving would be offered a pension equal to 12% of salary. No abatement would apply to those salaries. All new staff would thereafter be abated by 5% for new persons recruited post the date of agreement.
4. The salary adjustments would take effect from November, 1998.
5. The pension adjustment to take effect from January, 1996.
In the Court's view that proposal represents a reasonable compromise and should now be accepted by all parties in settlement of the dispute.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
2nd November, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.