INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMPUTER SERVICES BOARD
(REPRESENTED BY LGMSB)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioners Recommendation R-031278-IR-04/JC.
2. The appeal concerns a worker who commenced employment with the Local Government Computer Services Board (LGCSB) in 1992 as a Project Manager. In October 2002 the employer undertook a major reorganisation of its operations which provided for the creation of three Assistant Director posts and the introduction of eight new posts of Senior Consultant. The claimant applied for both categories and was not successful. The Union claimed that he was unfairly treated. The Union claimed that the worker be deemed qualified for the post of Senior Consultant, and that he be appointed to the post with effect from the date of the interview i.e. 19th December, 2003. Additionally the Union sought compensation for the stress caused to the claimant by the employer in the way it conducted the interviews and in its subsequent dealings with the claimant. The employer rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. On the 15th June, 2005 the Rights Commissioner issued her recommendation as follows:
"I find that the process established by the LGSCB prior to the interviews was extremely fair and transparent and supportive of all candidates and I can find no fault with that process and indeed would commend the Board for such detailed preparation and consultation with staff,
However, I find that the process followed by the interview panel did not conform with the process about which there had been such detailed consultation with staff in advance of the actual interviews. Further I find that the claimant was not advised of the changes in the marking system.
The respondent advised that the results of this interview process do not form part of the claimant's personnel file and that the outcome of the particular interview will have no bearing or be given no consideration in any future assessment or promotional process, however, in the circumstances of this case I recommend that an agreed note be placed on the claimant's file confirming that he is highly qualified in his field of expertise. I also recommend that the respondent pay the claimant a once off lump sum of €2,000 as compensation for the stress and concern experienced by him in this matter."
On the 21st July, 2005 the Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court. The Court heard the appeal on the 7th December, 2005.
3. 1. The Rights Commissioner erred in not making any reference to the kernel of the matter i.e. that the claimant was not assessed during the interview on the competencies set out and that the mark awarded under this heading could not relate to the claimant's qualifications and what happened at the interview. The claimant was not examined during the course of the interview on the competencies set out for the post, and the employer has no records to substantiate the mark awarded which deemed him unqualified. There are no separate marks under a number of headings where the claimant not only met the 'essential' requirements of the post, but also met the higher 'desirable' requirement where such was set out.
2. The Rights Commissioner, having found that the process adopted by the employer was flawed, erred in her findings by not awarding the claimant the redress sought.
3. Over and above the appeal against the Rights Commissioner's recommendation it is important to note the competencies for Project Manager and Senior Consultant are the same in the LGCSB. It is difficult to understand how the employer can find that the claimant is not qualified as a Senior Consultant when he has been a Project Manager since 1992, and is now managing one of the largest projects ever undertaken by the LGCSB.
4. 1 The employer made every effort to facilitate and prepare all candidates for the relevant positions. The selection procedures used by the Board for these promotional positions were fair and transparent. The Interview Board chosen for the process had impeccable credentials.
3. All candidates involved in the interview process received a copy of the marking sheet and any additional comments by the Interview Board. All records received and kept of the process by the Interview Board were made available to the candidates as a matter of course.
3. It is accepted by the employer that the marking sheet was changed in advance of the interview, however, all candidates who presented for interview were examined under identical criteria and therefore the employer contends the claimant was not treated unfairly and was treated in the same manner as the other candidates.
4. Concession of the worker's claim would negate the value of the interview process. The claimant failed to convince the panel that he should have qualified. The best candidates were offered the positions. Other candidates for the posts were unsuccessful and have accepted this.
Having considered all aspects of the Appellant's appeal of the Rights Commissioner's recommendation, the Court concurs with the findings and recommendation of the Rights Commissioner and upholds her recommendation.
Accordingly, the Appellant's appeal is dismissed.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th December, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.