INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE-SOUTHERN AREA
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Upgrading of two electricians to Assistant Foremen.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the HSE Southern Area and the TEEU in relation to the upgrading of two electricians employed by the HSE to posts of Assistant Foreman
The Union is claiming that both electricians carry out the duties of Assistant Foreman and is seeking the application of the appropriate grade and rate of pay.
Initially the claim was the subject of local discussions and was then referred to the National Review Group in accordance with the National Craftworkers "Main Trade Makes Good" Agreement. The Review Group issued its findings on 10th September, 2002, and suggested that while there was merit in their claims, further local level discussions were needed.
The HSE reject the claim on the basis that the workers in question carry out the same duties as the other craft workers and nothing more. Additionally the HSE could not concede the claim as there would be implications nationally.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and 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 24th November, 2004, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th September, 2005, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The two electricians work in stand alone situations and act in an advisory capacity to the Maintenance Officer and General Foreperson. The claim to be upgraded to the position of Assistant Foreman is reasonable in the circumstances.
4. 1. The duties carried out by the electricians do not qualify for an upgrade to Assistant Foreman. They are not employed in stand alone situations. There is advise and support from the Technical Services Officer and Engineering Officer at all times.
2. Concession of the claim would lead to repercussive claims at national level.
The Court is being asked to adjudicate on two claims, made in 2001, on behalf of two electricians based at (i) Mallow General Hospital and (ii) Our Lady's Hospital Cork for upgrading to the post of Assistant Foreman grade.
The Court notes that these claims have already been the subject of consideration by the National Review Group, who found in favour of the Mallow based electrician but did not proceed to concede the claim as it entailed the creation of a new post. The terms of reference of the Review Group did not permit it to recommend the creation of a new post. Therefore, it did not make any recommendations in respect of the claims before it, but instead made some 'observations'.
'The Main Trade Makes Good'agreement allows for the creation of promotional opportunities for craftsmen, but does not allow for the promotion of persons from one grade to another.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, and in accepting the Review Group's finding that there was merit in the Mallow based electrician's claim, the Court - while not conceding the claim for regrading - recommends that his position should be deemed to be worthy of a differential of 12.5% as applying to that of Assistant Foreman and he should be paid this differential on a strictly personal to holder basis, from the date of the National Review Body's report (10th September 2002).
The Court does not see merit in the claim made on behalf of the electrician based at Our Lady's Hospital Cork.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th October, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.