INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Re-grading of area foremen /Job evaluation exercise.
2. The Company was established in 1989 as a commercial state Company with responsibility for conducting state forestry and associated business on a commercial basis. It employs approximately four hundred and fifty industrial staff.
In 1995, as part of an overall package to improve operational performance the Company decided to create forty six promotional posts known as Area Foreman.
In 2001, the Union sought the re-grading of Area Foreman to Level 4 Management grade. The Company rejected the claim stating that the pay of the Area Foreman is at the appropriate rate.
The Union's claim before the Court is for a Job Evaluation exercise to be carried out by an agreed third party in respect of the Area Foreman and Level 4 Management posts in the Company.
The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 19th of May, 2003, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17th of September, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
Following the Conciliation Conference a proposal was put forward for a job evaluation exercise to be carried out which was accepted by the Union and rejected by the Company.
3. 1. The duties and responsibilities of the Area Foreman have increased and the post should be re-graded to Level 4 Management grade.
2. The claim is ongoing since July, 2001.
3. A Job Evaluation exercise should be carried out . The exercise would cost the Company nothing.
4. 1. The post of Area Foreman was developed as an enhanced role for industrial staff.
2. The job undertaken by Area Foremen is correctly graded and remunerated. The role is not comparable to the role undertaken by Level 4 Management staff.
3. The Company remains prepared to engage with the Union in the development of a meaningful career path for staff in the Area Foreman grade.
In seeking the re-grading of Area Foreman to Level 4 Management grade, the Union sought the carrying out of a job evaluation exercise by an agreed third party.
Having examined the information available, the Court is satisfied that there is no evidence of significant change in the role of Area Foremen which could warrant a re-grading to Level 4 Management and consequently the Union's claim is not conceded by the Court.
However, the Court notes the Company requirement for improved efficiencies and changes to work practices coupled with it's willingness to engage with the Union in the "development of a meaningful career path" for the Area Foreman grade. The Court recommends that such discussions should commence without delay.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
2nd October, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.