INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
2. The dispute concerns a worker who has been employed as a Clerical Grade 2 since 1983. In 1987 she was transferred to the Research Centre, Clonroche Co. Wexford and remained there until the location closed in 2003. The claimant replaced a Clerical Grade 3 in Clonroche in 1987. The Union has been seeking the regrading of the claimant to Clerical Grade 3 since 1998. Management rejected the claim. 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 December 2003, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held on the 10th March, 2003.
3. 1. It is clear and factual that the claimant replaced a Grade 3, assumed her duties and responsibilities, and performed additional tasks over the years. She raised her claim verbally with her immediate superior over the years, to no avail.
2. The Employer, to date, has not credibly in any consistent manner objected to the claim on its merits. It has thwarted the claimant with different excuses at various times.
3. The Employer argued that there was some "duplication " in the roles of the claimant and another employee and highlighted an internal report (only released to the Union one year after issue) justifying its position. Neither the Union nor the claimant were party to the process of the review and the individual who carried out the task did not even interview or consult with the claimant.
4. The Union, on behalf of the claimant, is seeking a regrading from Clerical Grade 2 to Clerical Grade 3 with significant retrospection from the date the claim was lodged i.e. 1998.
4.1. There have been two formal External Reviews of the post in 1989 and 1996 by the IPA and CMOD respectively. Both recommended that the appropriate level for the claimant's post was Clerical Grade 2 level. In addition an internal management report in 1999 could find no basis for considering a revaluation of the post.
2. Clonroche Research Centre was a small Management Unit (6-7 staff). The level of responsibility that arose for the claimant within that Management Unit was in the Employer's view, and as stated in the CMOD review, 'within the range of duties and responsibilities of a Grade 2 level officer'
It is accepted that the claimant went into a Grade 3 post in 1987. However, it is clear that Management did not accept that this was the correct grade of the post, although the previous holder may have enjoyed that grading.
Since then the post has been assessed on two occasions by IPA in 1989 and CMOD in 1996 and graded at Grade 2.
While the claimant may have felt she should have been given Grade 3 because the previous job holder had such a grade, it is possible that this was given on a personal basis at that time.
As two reputable bodies have assessed the post, during agreed assessment exercises and found it to be Grade 2, the Court does not recommend concession of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd March 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.