INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
MAYO COUNTY COUNCIL
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioners Recommendation R032315-IR-05/GF.
2. The issue involves a claim by worker who was appointed General Services Supervisor with Mayo County Council in November, 2001 in the Derrinumera Landfill Site in Co. Mayo. The Union claims that he should on occasions receive an "Acting up Allowance" when the absence of either or both Landfill Manager or Deputy Landfill Manager occurs. Mayo County Council maintains that the worker is sufficiently remunerated for the work he carries out and cannot "Act Up" as he does not have the required qualification for the position. The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 19th April, 2005, the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:
- “I have considered the case carefully and I must come to the conclusion that the claimant is sufficiently remunerated for the work he carried out. I find in favour of Mayo County Council”.
On the 30th May, 2005 the Union appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th March, 2006.
3.1 A letter from the Environmental Protection Agency dated 19th June 2002 to Mayo County Council states"The updated Management structure which was received by the Agency on the 17th June 2002 is to the satisfaction of the Agency. In addition the Agency agreed to your proposals to appoint the worker as the person in change in the absence of the nominated Facility Manager or Deputy Facility Manager".
2. It is the custom that acting up is a feature that is widely practised throughout Mayo County Council and is accepted by all parties as being the norm. The individuals are paid an allowance in this regard.
3. The Union contends that the worker has by definition contained in the EPA letter of the 19th June, 2002 been in charge arising from the absence of the Managers assigned to the site concerned from 2002 to date.
4. This claim cannot be viewed by Mayo County Council as a cost increasing claim but rather the implementation of normal process.
4.1 Management state that Section 160(1) of the Local Government 2001, Act, makes it illegal to appoint a person to a position where a professional qualification is required and where that person is not in possession of the said qualifications.
2. If there were no requirement for a professional qualification to act in the position of Deputy Manager or Manager, there is a more senior member of staff based at the landfill site that would be appointed in advance of the worker.
3. In running the landfill site Management must adhere to all conditions set down by the Environmental Protection Agency, one of which the Management Structure is outlined.
4. Management have already rewarded the worker for the fact that he can carry out certain functions in the absence of the Facility Manager/Deputy Manager by upgrading him from foreman to General Services Supervisor in 2001.
The claim before the Court concerns an entitlement to an acting up allowance by the General Services Supervisor, during the absences of the Landfill Manager and/or the Deputy Landfill Manager.
Having considered the submissions of both sides, the Court is satisfied that when the claimant was regraded from his Foreman position and appointed as General Services Supervisor in February 2002, his new duties encompassed the additional duties referred to by him as “acting up” duties. Additionally, the Court is not satisfied that he fulfils the role of either the Landfill Manager or the Deputy Landfill Manager, in their absences which would entitle him to an acting up allowance.
Therefore, the Court does not recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.