INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
AN BORD PLEANALA
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF HIGHER CIVIL & PUBLIC SERVANTS)
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Claim for regrading.
2. The Union is pursuing a claim for the regrading of the post of Chief Officer in An Bord Pleanala, from Principal Officer Higher Grade (Civil Service) to the maximum of the Assistant Secretary (Civil Service) with effect from 1st January, 2001, on the basis that three reviews of the post have recommended such regrading, significant additional duties and responsibilities have arisen as a result of the transfer of functions to the Board under the 2000 Planning Act, increased managerial responsibilities brought about by changes in structure, increases in staffing levels and case loads. Budgetary responsibilities have also increased considerably.
- An Bord Pleanala rejects the claim and contends that any increase in the complexity of planning appeal cases or due to the functions to be assigned to the Board under the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act, 2006, will not impact on the job of the Chief Officer.
- An examination of the salaries of Board Members and the Deputy Chairman within Bord Pleanala are currently being carried out as part of a review by the High Level Pay Review Group, the results of which are not expected until 2007.
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 6th September, 2006 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 9th October, 2006.
3. 1. Ordinary Board Members have been regraded. The Deputy Planning Officers, Senior Planning Inspectors and Planning Inspectorshave been offered regrading and therefore there is no basis for refusing the regrading of the Chief Officer.
2. The pay differential between the Chief Officer and the Chairperson is well outside the norm applying in the civil service while the pay differential between the Chief Officer and the two next tiers reporting are minuscule. There is a clear need to close the pay differential between the Chief Officer and the first tier and widen the gap between him and the third and fourth tiers. Pay differentials in the Board and pay rates in the NRA and EPA would suggest that the Chief Officer should be paid the Deputy Secretary salary rate. This claim is for the maximum of the Assistant Secretary salary scale.
3. While ordinary Board members received, and inspector grades have being offered, backdating to 1st April 2002, backdating for the Chief Officer is warranted to the date the functions were transferred to the Board from the Minister on 1st January 2001. The Chief Officer was involved with preparations for the transfer of functions long before 1st January 2001.
4. 1. It would be totally inappropriate to concede this claim in advance of the Review Body's examination of the posts of Deputy Chairman and the ordinary members of the Board.
2. Concession of the claim would have serious implications for the coherent pay structure in the Body and for the ongoing claim by the Union.
3. The Management side has already offered to review the remuneration payable to the Chief Officer following the outcome of the examination of Board Members salaries by the Review Body.
The Court, having considered the submissions of the parties, recommends that the salary for the post of Chief Officer be reviewed after the report of the High Level Pay Review Group on its examination of the salaries of the Board Members and of the Deputy Chairman, and that the outturn of this process be retrospective to April 2002 in the event of any necessary review arising.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.