INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-033899-IR-05/GF.
2. The issue involves a dispute by claimant that his employer failed to maintain regular and rostered overtime payment associated with timber preparation. FÁS have disputed this. The worker has assisted an outside contractor in wood preparation for use for the wood trade for over 10 years. His duties involved handling, cutting, plaining and stacking of wood in readiness for use by the wood trade instructors. In carrying out such duties on a weekly basis the worker would accrue twelve hours overtime per week. This payment is considered significant in the context of the worker's wage per annum. The situation developed following a dispute in 2005, relating to FÁS Cabinet Making/Carpentry & Joinery Instructor staffing levels which had nothing to do with the worker concerned, but indirectly resulted in a significant loss of overtime earnings for him. Under the 1997 Programme of Change FÁS/SIPTU Agreement Section 3.21 protects General Assistants from such financial loss of earnings. The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 3rd October, 2005, the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:
- “I have given the matter careful consideration and I must come to the conclusion the claimant’s interpretation of the 1997 agreement is a correct one and he is clearly entitled to the amount outstanding. I find in his favour and the amount should be paid to him in final settlement of the matter”.
On the 17th October, 2005, FÁS, appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 on the grounds that the recommendation is based on inaccurate and misleading information supplied to the Commissioner on the day. Notwithstanding serious reservations byFÁS, they made an offer of €1,600 to the worker in full and final settlement of this claim. This offer was rejected. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th January, 2006.
3.1 Section 3.21 of the 1997 Agreement protects the worker's loss of overtime earnings. It is an established financial agreement and in place for over 10 years.
2. The Right's Commissioner has already taken lengthy and serious consideration of this claim and has found accordingly.
4.1Management contends that the Union overstated the alleged financial loss of the worker. The amount of €3,780 is overstated and inaccurate.
2. Management made every effort to offer alternative overtime to the worker throughout the period in dispute January to June 2005.
3. The workers gross loss of overtime on Fridays and Saturdays could not have been more than €1,797 gross and not the €3,790 net as claimed by the Union.
The Court has considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions. In its appeal of the Rights Commissioner’s recommendation,FÁSgave details of the actual losses incurred due to the withdrawal of wood preparation work for the Cabinet Making course, which commenced in January 2005. This loss amounted to €1,797.00.
Having considered the matter, the Court recommends that a sum of €1797.00 gross should be paid in full and final settlement of the worker’s claim for the loss of overtime earnings incurred.
The Court varies the Rights Commissioner’s recommendation accordingly.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th January, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.