INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Payment for supervising job initiative scheme participants.
2. In May, 2000, the Council became involved in a job initiative scheme which was designed to provide full-time work for persons who had no regular employment in the previous 5 years. The scheme was a replacement for community employment schemes (CESs) which had operated in the Council over a period of 18 years.
At a meeting in June, 2000, the issue of supervising the participants was raised. At that stage, general service supervisors had been carrying out the role since May, 2000. (It is these supervisors who are the subject of the dispute.) It was decided to upgrade a general worker in each of 6 areas to acting foreman grade and pay them an acting allowance of €15.56 ( It was December, 2000, before this took place.) Whilst the Union was agreeable to this, it believed that it had a commitment from the Personnel Office that the 6 supervisors who had been carrying out the work would also be compensated i.e. 36 weeks x €15.56 The Council's view is that no such commitment was given, and that the work involved was part to the supervisors' normal duties.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 18th of February, 2003, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th of May, 2003, in Athlone.
3. 1. The Personnel Officer agreed that he was prepared to compensate someone in each area within reason for carrying out the supervisory duties. He also acknowledged that the 6 supervisors were carrying out this role under protest.
2. The Union believed and expected that the supervisors would be compensated for the 36 weeks that they carried out the role.
4. 1. There was no mention at the meeting in June, 2000, that the Personnel Officer had agreed to compensate the supervisors for carrying out the supervising role. This was part of their normal duties.
2. It is not possible to pay an acting allowance to the supervisors as they are already at the top level of the General Operative staffing structure.
3. The Council had given a commitment at the meeting, in June, 2000, to "compensate workers who were supervising the Job Initiative scheme". It was the Union's idea to upgrade a worker in each area to acting foreman grade and pay them an allowance.
The Court does not recommend concession of the Union's claim in this case for payment to individual supervisors for supervising the Job Initiative Scheme.
However, the Court is conscious that the Council, by not implementing proper upgrading structures until December, 2000, made a financial gain.
In the circumstances, the Court recommends that the Council make a donation to the supervisors, to be used as the group decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd June, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.