INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CORK CITY COUNCIL
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. 1. Increased holiday entitlement, 2. Incremental credit on foot of previous service.
2. The dispute before the Court relates to three Tunnel Services Inspectors, employed by Cork City Council, based at the Jack Lynch Tunnel, Cork City. The Union, on behalf of the Claimants, is seeking incremental credit on foot of their previous service while employed as Temporary Mechanical and Electrical Inspectors, and increased holiday entitlements associated with the appropriate grade. The Union contends that the grade of Tunnel Services Inspector's pay scale is the same as the grade of Clerk of Works but the latter has a thirty-two day annual leave entitlement and therefore the Tunnel Services Inspectors current annual leave entitlement of twenty-two days should be increased. The Council rejects the claim
- 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 7th November, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 28th June, 2006.
UNION'S ARGUMENTS:3. 1. The Claimant's positions on the salary scale should be incrementally adjusted to take account of their temporary service. The three individuals involved in the claim were at the top of their salary scale in their previous employment.
2. The Clerks of Works grade, which is accepted by City Council as analogous to the Tunnel Inspector Grade has thirty-two days annual leave. The Claimant's original positions of Technician has a holiday entitlement of twenty-seven days. The Union's members would not have voted for a position which reduced their holidays entitlements.
COUNCIL'S ARGUMENTS:4. 1. The Council applied full incremental credit in accordance with appropriate circulars to the salaries of Tunnel Service Inspectors. The Tunnel Service Inspectors infact benefited further when appointed in a permanent capacity due to assimilation onto a higher pay scale.
2. The relationship with Clerks of Works/Building Inspector is for pay purposes only and was implemented for the sole purpose of enabling existing staff to compete for the permanent positions. There is not and never has there been a relationship between Tunnel Service Inspectors and Clerks of Works in respect of annual leave entitlements.
The Union, on behalf of three Tunnel Service Inspectors, sought (a) incremental credit on foot of their previous service when they were employed as Temporary Mechanical and Electrical Inspector at the Lee Tunnel and (b) an increase in their annual leave entitlement from 22 days to 32 days.
The City Council rejected these claims stating that the workers had been correctly placed on the minimum point of the Tunnel Service Inspectors scale, when that grade was newly created in 2003. It stated that incremental credit in respect of their temporary service was applied in accordance with Circular Letter EL 3/95 and that there were correctly assimilated on to the new scale. Assimilation was on the basis of nearest higher monetary point. In relation to the claim in respect of annual leave, it stated that a reference to 32 days had been incorrectly posted on the intranet site, this was an error and their entitlement to annual leave was in accordance with their temporary contract of employment.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court is of the view that the City Council has correctly applied the terms of Circular Letter EL 3/95 and correctly applied assimilation on to the new scale. Therefore, the Court does not concede the Union’s claim for incremental credit.
In relation to the claim for annual leave, the Court does not accept that there are grounds for the application of 32 days annual leave to Tunnel Service Inspectors, however, the Court is of the view in addition to their entitlement to 22 days there is merit in awarding service leave of three extra days on completion of 5 years service, in accordance with the City Council’s policy on additional service leave.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.