INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Post of Finance Officer and Treasurer.
2. During talks under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work, it was agreed that a review would be undertaken of the Finance Function within the local authority sector. This review got underway in February 1996. A working group of Local Authority Managers, officials from the Department of the Environment and Local Government, Local Government Audit Section and Finance Officers was set up. The terms of reference of the Working Group were "to examine the immediate and long term needs of the Finance function in Local Authorities and to identify the resources necessary to address these needs."
This final report, which was entitled "Review of the Finance Function in Local Authorities" was produced in 1999.
The Union is seeking a review of the post of Finance Officer. It claims that the implementation of the report upgraded every Finance Officer post throughout the country with the exception of the Finance Officer and Treasurer within Dublin City Council. The Union entered into talks with the Local Government Management Services Board concerning the proposals and their implications.
The Union sought the completion of the national review within Dublin City Council. Management refused to allow consideration of the post of Finance Officer and Treasurer.
As agreement could not be reached the Union referred the matter to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 8th of August, 2002. The Union agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1 This isnota pay claim, The Union is seeking completion of the "Review of Finance Function in Local Authorities"
2. The post of Finance Officer and Treasurer within Dublin City Council is theonly senior post within the Finance Function in the Local Authority sector that has not been reviewed.
3. The Review undertaken has already allowed for separate and different arrangements within the Dublin region, taking account of the pre-existing grading structure.
4. The existence of a historic pay linkage has not prevented the inclusion of any other Finance Officer post(s) in the Review.
5. Within Dublin City Council, the entire management structures of the Finance Department have been reviewed with the exception of the most senior post.
6. All of the additional responsibilities and the enhanced role of the Finance Officer which were envisaged in the "Review of Finance Function in Local Authorities" are now carried out by the Finance Officer and Treasurer. The Quality Assurance Group requirements within Local Government as provided for under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness make a number of specific references to the finance function. These requirements have been met and recently signed off on within Dublin City Council.
4. 1. The City Finance Officer and Treasurer made an individual submission to the Review Body and, in so doing, clearly acknowledged that the Review Body was the appropriate mechanism by which the pay of the post fell to be reviewed.
2. The rate of pay of the City Finance Officer and Treasurer is formally determined from time to time by Order of the Minister for the Environment and Local Government and, where the rate of pay is to be revised other than in accordance with general pay rounds, this is done in accordance with Government decisions following consideration of recommendations of the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector. This has been done in this case and the City Finance Officer and Treasurer has had the benefit of the full increase recommended by the Review Body. It is entirely inappropriate, that the Union is now seeking to have the pay of the City Finance Officer and Treasurer dealt with through another mechanism on the pretext that this position was not reviewed.
3. The Review Body did not look at the position of City Finance Officer and Treasurer separately from the other posts in the assistant city manager "basket" of posts. The terms of reference of the Review Body states:- "in addition to advise the Government specially on other specific issues which they may refer to it separately or in the context of the four yearly reviews."
4. The Review Body, throughout its history, has examined a number of specific posts which have been referred to it by the Government. It was open to the Union and to the City Finance Officer and Treasurer to request such a reference by the Government in relation to this post either in the context of the most recent review or at any other time; no such request has been made.
The Court notes that the claimant is at a Grade 5 management level and is accordingly covered by "The Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector", which, as pointed out by management entitles him to pursue his case directly to the Government through the Department of Finance, in the context of the next general review. The Court is of the view that this is the appropriate forum for his claim and recommends accordingly.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th August, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.