INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DUN LAOGHAIRE INSTITUTE OF ART DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
(REPRESENTED BY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION & SCIENCE)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Incremental credit.
2. The dispute concerns a worker who is employed by the Institute as a Technician since February, 2000. The issue involved is the incremental credit and its application in determining the worker's salary. Department of Education and Science regulations allow for entry at a higher point on the scale for applicants earning more than €23,318.74 in the twelve months prior to appointment and who can show that past qualifications and experience is such as to justify the award of incremental credit. In order to prepare for an academic post the worker had returned to full time education and, therefore, in the previous twelve months had not earned in excess of the required amount. The worker had provided a statement of the last full year's earnings under her previous career 1995-6. The Department has rejected these earnings stating that only earnings in the year immediately prior to taking up the post can be considered. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held in July, 2002. Agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 3rd September, 2002. A Court hearing was held on the 12th December, 2002.
3. 1. The worker's qualifications and skills and experience in her previous position in the sound industry were the reason that the Institute chose her for the post of Technician.
2.The worker has been able to demonstrate earnings significantly higher than the requirement, prior to commencing work with the Institute. Her earnings in 1995-6 were just short of the top of the scale. The Institute has indicated that it would support her being placed on the maximum of the Technician scale.
3.The Department has sought to selectively impose restrictions. Precedents already exist for progression beyond the 2nd point of the scale.
4. It is unreasonable for the Department to refuse to treat the claimant at least as well as others in the sector.
5.It would have cost the Department, through the Institute, far more to train and qualify the worker to her current standard than the cost of conceding the claim.
4. 1. The normal arrangements for the recruitment of Technicians do not provide for recruitment above the minimum point of the scale except in the case of Diploma holders can be appointed on the second point of the scale.
2.In very limited circumstances where incremental credit has been approved, it has been on the basis of all the criteria being met, and in particular, the earnings in the twelve months previous, prior to taking up duty.
3.In the case of the claimant she was seeking to have earnings from five years previously to be taken into account. This would be unprecedented.
4.The Department is not prepared to concede on an issue that might have further consequences in this and other areas.
5.The Department accepts that incremental credit was approved for Technicians in a number of Institutes but those cases would all have involved assessment of earnings in excess of point one or two of the scale in the immediate twelve month period prior to appointment.
6.The worker had been a student and was moving from an unpaid post to a full-time paid post. These are not the circumstances that lead to an award of incremental credit.
The Court has considered the submissions of both sides. The Court notes that the current regulations do not provide for an award of incremental credit solely based on the appointee's experience.
However, the Court notes that it is accepted by management that due to her extensive and relevant technical/commercial experience prior to joining the Institute the claimant will bring added value to the appointed position and is regarded as a significant asset to the Institute.
Accordingly, due to the particular circumstances of this case, the Court recommends that the Institute should improve her incremental position on the salary scale to reflect this level of experience and professional development. The Court recommends that this matter should be concluded not later than the end of February, 2003.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th January, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.