INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
COUNTY DUBLIN VEC
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE
- AND -
TEACHERS' UNION OF IRELAND
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
2. The claim concerns a worker who was employed as a part-time teacher at Shanganagh Castle prison from 1981 to 2003. The VEC operated an educational facility for inmates at the prison. In 2002 the Irish Prison Service decided to close Shanganagh Castle Prison. Neither the VEC nor the Department of Education and Science were consulted. The claimant, along with two other part-time teachers, was declared redundant. The Employer offered him statutory redundancy entitlements. The Union rejected the offer and sought enhanced redundancy terms. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court in February 2004 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held on the 4th March, 2004.
3. 1. The claimant has worked full hours (22 hours) from 1981 to 1995. From 1995 to 2003 he worked full hours for 48 weeks of the year.
2. The claimant had an impeccable service record as a teacher at Shanganagh Castle prison.
3. He is 56 years of age and, at this stage, will find it very difficult to secure suitable alternative employment with a comparable salary to that which he enjoyed as an employee of the VEC.
4. The Employer's offer is unacceptable. There are clear precedents in the private, public, and semi-state sectors where employees have been offered redundancy packages in excess of the statutory redundancy terms available. The claimant is entitled to significantly enhanced redundancy terms of at least six weeks pay per year of service plus statutory entitlements.
4. 1. While the VEC is the direct employer in this instance the terms and conditions of employment of staff employed by the VEC are determined by the Minister for Education and Science and the Minister for Finance.
2. The Employer recently received sanction to offer the claimant 4 weeks pay per year of service inclusive of statutory entitlements. The Employer considers this offer to be fair and reasonable. The offer is in line with the most recent redundancy case in the education sector (LCR 17595 refers).
The Court has considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
Taking into account the particular circumstances of this case the Court recommends that the employer pay the claimant 5 weeks pay per year of service (exclusive of statutory entitlements).
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th March, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.