INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
ST JOSEPH'S PRIMARY SCHOOL
(REPRESENTED BY BOARD OF MANAGEMENT)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Alleged non-payment of Sustaining Progress.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between SIPTU and St Jospeh's Primary School, Kinsale, Co Cork in relation to the alleged non-payment of increases due under Sustaining Progress to a member of the secretarial staff employed at the school. The Union is claiming that the employee in question requested a wage increase and was subsequently offered an increase but a reduction in hours, which would have resulted in an actual loss of earnings. The employee in question subsequently had her hours of work cut but remained on the rate of pay that had applied since October 2003. The Union is claiming that in the absence of an agreed wage review mechanism, increases due under Sustaining Progress be applied to the worker.
The Board of Management's position is that it does not apply national wage agreements and all other increases must be paid for out of the Ancillary Services Grant which the school receives depending on the number of pupils enrolled which covers Secretarial and Caretaking services.
As the dispute was not resolved at local level, the Union referred the matter to the Labour Court on 14th November, 2005 in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation.
A Labour Court hearing took place on 15th June, 2006.
3. 1. The Union is seeking the application of wage increases due under Sustaining Progress. It is unacceptable that the employee has remained on the same rate of pay since October 2003.
2. The employee was eventually given an increase but was informed it was on the basis of a reduction in hours worked. This would have resulted in an actual loss of earnings.
3. Another staff member whose rate of pay is governed by the Ancilliary Services Grant was given an increase without a reduction in working hours.
4. 1. The Board of Management does not apply national wage increases. An organisation cannot be compelled to apply the increases.
2. The Ancillary Services Grant which covers caretaking and secretarial salaries is limited and the amount received depends on the number of students at the school. It is not possible for the school to sustain additional costs for these services.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court recommends that in the absence of any agreed structure for pay reviews, regard must be given to national wage agreements. Therefore, the Court recommends that the claimant should be paid a rate of €10.37 per hour with retrospective effect to 1st January 2006. Furthermore, the Court recommends that with effect from 1st July 2006 her rate should be increased in line with the terms of any new national agreement agreed between the Social Partners.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd July 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.