INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES BOARD)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR934/99/MR.
2. The appeal concerns a worker who has been employed by the Corporation since 1983 and has filled the post of Acting Assistant Supervisor since 1995. The Union claims that the worker should be appointed as permanent Assistant Supervisor. Management rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. On the 15th May, 2000, the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:-
In the circumstances, I now recommend the following:
(a) The worker's post should be examined at an early date by an agreed external assessor, with the Irish Productivity Centre being asked to undertake the examination in the event of the parties failing to agree an assessor;
(b) If the post is then graded at the level of Assistant Supervisor, a competition to fill the post should be held in the normal way, and the worker should apply for the position;
(c) If the worker's application should prove unsuccessful, and if by that time his substantive grade is still below that of Assistant Supervisor, the parties should meet urgently with a view to resolving the differences between them, with a further Rights Commissioner Hearing taking place if either side deems it appropriate.."
(The worker was named in the Rights Commissioner's recommendation.)
On the 13th June, 2000, the Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court. The Court heard the appeal in Limerick on the 22nd August, 2001.
3. 1. The worker concerned has fulfilled all tasks required of him in his current role in an extremely efficient and diligent manner.
2. The worker has held the post for nearly seven years. Given that the Corporation's stated position is that it does not intend to alter his rate of pay or conditions
of employment there is no reason why the position cannot be designated to the worker on a permanent basis.
3. The Union sees no merit in the Rights Commissioner's recommendation that the post be assessed by an external assessor and, thereafter, advertised if necessary.
4. The Corporation has made this post permanent but has failed to confirm this in the normal way to the worker. The only reasonable approach is to confirm the worker's position as permanent.
4. 1. On the worker's initial assignment to the Roads Department there were three staff in that area as follows: 1 Supervisor, 1 Assistant Supervisor and the
worker concerned as an extra Acting Assistant Supervisor. Following the retirement of the Supervisor, the Assistant Supervisor filled the post in an acting capacity.
Staff levels were reduced to 2. Management previously stated that the level of the former Supervisor's post was appropriate to Assistant Supervisor level. The
issue was the subject of a Rights Commissioner's investigation. In his
recommendation, the Rights Commissioner recommended that the
Supervisor's post be "examined by an external assessor and that .......
a competition to fill the post be held in the normal way ... "Subsequently the
post was graded at Assistant Supervisor level following an assessment by the Irish Productivity Centre. The Court upheld the Rights Commissioner's
recommendation following an appeal by the Union (AD 00/54 refers). Accordingly the staffing structure in the Roads Department is currently 1 Assistant Supervisor and 1 Acting Assistant Supervisor (the claimant).
2. All promotional outlets must be filled by competition. The same criteria as apply to other acting posts also apply to the claimant. The Corporation accepted
the Rights Commissioner's recommendation as being the best way forward and asks the Court to uphold the recommendation.
The Court has considered the Union's appeal and recommends that the Rights Commissioner's recommendation, points (a) and (b) should be varied by the following; the recommended external assessment should be dispensed with and the Corporation should proceed to fill the post by competition in the normal way, and the worker should apply for the position.
The Rights Commissioner's recommendation is, therefore, amended by the Court's recommendation.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th September, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.