INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR10302/02/FL
2. The worker commenced employment with the Company in 1965 and retired in April, 2001 after approximately thirty years' service. The Union claims that management failed to adequately compensate the worker by their refusal to have her post upgraded to Administrative Assistant.
The Union claims that the claimant's post was advertised, prior to her retirement in
December, 2000, as Personal Assistant to Head of Programme Acquisitions. The Union
states that the worker should have been paid at the grade of Personal Assistant and that
she has lost a considerable amount of money as a result. The Union believes that the
Company should address this claim and grant a retrospective upgrade which would be
reflected in her pension..
Management rejected the Union's claim. The Company stated that the claimant was graded in a manner appropriate to her duties and responsibilities.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 3rd December, 2002, the Rights Commissioner issued his Recommendation as follows:-
- " I recommend that the claimant's final pensionable remuneration be adjusted as if her job had been regraded in 1997 to the level of Administrative Assistant (Level 3A) and that her pension be changed accordingly."
accordance with Section13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court
investigated the dispute on the 20th February, 2003.
- MANAGEMENT'S ARGUMENTS:
3. 1. Management does not believe that it has been in any way remiss in its treatment of the claimant.2. The worker was graded in a manner appropriate to her duties and responsibilities.3. The nature of the work involved did change in 2001. Had the worker not reached retirement age in January, 2001, it is possible that she would have benefited from a re-grading.4.Management made substantialefforts to address the concerns of the worker during the period January, 1997 and April, 2001. During this period her salary increased by 41.72%.5.In December, 2000,in response to a request from the claimant, management offered to purchase an additional 1.2 years pension rights for her, but this was rejected by the worker.
4. 1. The worker's post was advertised prior to her retirement in December, 2000. It was advertised as Personal Assistant to Head of Programme Acquisitions.2. Management indicated to the claimant that it was necessary to upgrade her post in order to attract the correct calibre of person.3. The worker was due to retire in January, 2001, but was asked to remain on in her post to train in the successful applicant.4. The worker felt that she had been badly treated by the Company over the years and was seeking some improvement in her pension entitlements. She asked if a further two years service could be added to her pension which would give her thirty-five years' service. This was rejected by the Company.5. While the Company were prepared to make some ex-gratia payments they were not willing to make any movement on the worker's pension entitlements.6. The refusal by the Company to upgrade the worker's post in 1996 has resulted in a significant financial loss for the worker. She also continues to suffer financially in having a much reduced pension paid to her.
Having considered the written and oral submissions of both sides the Court is satisfied that there were no grounds for the application of Administrative Assistant Level 3A to be applied to the employee's salary position at her retirement and accordingly upholds the company's appeal of the Rights Commissioner's recommendation.
The Court notes that in December 2000 in response to a request for additional years of pension service, the company made an offer, which was rejected. Subsequently, in an effort to resolve this case, the company made an offer of a goodwill payment.
Due to the special circumstances of this case, the Court recommends that a goodwill payment is an appropriate format by which the dispute can now be resolved and in these circumstances the Court recommends a payment of €15,000. This should be accepted in full and final settlement of this claim
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th March, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.