INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES BOARD
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute betwen the Local Government Management Services Board (LGMSB) and IMPACT in relation to the regrading of Revenue Collectors employed by local authorities. Currently the Revenue Collectors are graded at Grade IV, are paid an additional 22.5% travel allowance and operate on an "out of office" basis. The issue of regrading was previously the subject of a Labour Court hearing and the Court's Recommendation (LCR17930) recommended that:
"parties should resume negotiations with a view to restructuring the grade along the general lines already agreed in respect of certain Local Authorities in which local agreements have been concluded."
Although negotiations took place between the parties agreement was not reached. The Union is seeking that the Revenue Collectors be re-graded to either Grade VII or Grade V with the retention of the 22.5 % travel allowance. The Union's position is that identical agreements were reached in other Local Authorities and it is unacceptable that Revenue Collectors in certain areas are treated less favourable than others. The Union is also seeking that the position maintain its "out of office" status. Retrospection is also being sought to 2002.
Management's position is that the claim is cost increasing and is precluded under Sustaining Progress. In addition, the agremeents reached in other Local Authorities resulted in a reduction in the number of Revenue Collectors and additional areas and duties for those who remained. It is also Management's position that it has put forward adequate proposals in its framework document for the re-structuring in line with the previous Recommendation of the Labour Court and the needs of the Trade Union and its members.
As the dispute was not resolved at local level, it was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Retations Commission. As agreement was not reached the matter was referred to the Labour Court on 10th May 2006 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 30th June, 2006
3. 1. Local Authorities in other areas have concluded agreements at local level resulting in improved terms and conditions of employment for Revenue Collectors. It is unacceptable that Revenue Collectors in certain areas are treated less favourably than others.
2. The Union does not accept that the claim is cost increasing, having identified to management, areas where the restructuring could be agreed and implemented on a cost neutral basis.
4. 1. The claim is cost increasing and precluded under Sustaining Progress.
2. The Agreements reached in other areas were not comparable as they involved a reduction in numbers and additional duties pertaining to the role of the remaining Revenue Collectors.
3. Management have put forward proposals in its framework document which are fair and should be acceptable to all parties in relation to the restructuring.
The dispute before the Court concerns the Union’s claim for the regrading of Revenue Collectors employed by Local Authorities and was the subject of Labour Court Recommendation No: 17930 dated 12th August 2004. The Court recommended :
“the parties resume negotiations with a view to restructuring the grade along the general lines already agreed in respect of certain Local Authorities in which local agreements have been concluded.”
- (a) regrading to Grade V
(b) retention of the 22½% travel allowance, and
(c) continuation of out of office work
The framework proposals put forward by management includes an offer to regrade Revenue Collectors to Grade V, however, it states that it will be a matter for each individual Manager to decide whether the revenue collection function will move to an office based system.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court is of the view that further discussions are necessary to achieve a major restructuring of the role of Revenue Collectors. Therefore, the Court recommends that the parties should immediately engage in in-depth discussions on this matter. The Court sets the following parameters for the discussions:
-acceptance that the principle of maintaining all benefits currently held by Revenue Collectors is not achievable in return for a regrading to Grade V,-the job function of Revenue Collectors will be significantly changed and some of the benefits currently held will be eliminated and/or dramatically changed,
-management at local level should clarify the changes required to move the revenue collections function to an office-based system.
The Court recommends that these discussions should be completed by the end of October 2006.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
17th July 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.