INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioners Recommendation IR14232/03/TB.
2. The appeal concerns a worker who is employed by the Council as a Retained Firefighter. In April, 2002 the Council invited applications for the position of Sub Officer in the Retained Fire Brigade in Elphin. The claimant applied and following interview was advised that he was number one on the panel. On the 20th August, 2002 the Council wrote to the claimant offering him the position of Sub Officer. He confirmed acceptance of the position by letter dated 27th August, 2002. Following some personnel moves not anticipated by Management, the Council was not in a position to proceed with the appointment. The Union claimed that the Council should honour the job offer and also compensate the claimant for stress suffered as a result of the Council's action. The Council rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 15th April, 2004 the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:
"I recommend that the Council appoint the claimant a Sub Officer with effect from the 1st September, 2002."
On the 22nd April, 2004 the Council appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court. The Court heard the appeal in Roscommon on the 28th September, 2004
3. 1. At the time of offering the post the Council anticipated that a vacancy for Sub Officer in the Elphin Fire Brigade would arise following the expected resignation of the existing Sub Officer. It subsequently transpired that the existing Sub Officer did not retire and a vacancy did not therefore arise. The Council was not in a position to appoint the claimant.
4. 1. The claimant applied for the post of Sub Officer and was successful. He notified colleagues of his success. The Council has totally frustrated the claimant since that time and this has posed a major problem for him in so far as the issue was stressful and costly and he lost the promised increase in pay and the associated status within the brigade.
2. The Rights Commissioner recognise that a contract had been entered into by the Council. It should now honour that contract.The Union asks the Court to uphold the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner.
The Court has considered the oral and written submissions of both parties and concurs with the findings and recommendation of the Rights Commissioner. Accordingly, the Court upholds the Rights Commissioner's recommendation and the County Council's appeal fails.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th October, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.