INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. The filling of the post of Assistant Librarian at Castlerea Prison.
2. The dispute concerns the manner in which the post of Assistant Librarian at Castlerea Prison is being filled. The Union wants it filled by way of confined competition whereas the Council is seeking that it be filled by open competition. The Council received confirmation from the Irish Prison Service (IPS) that it was creating a Library Service at Castlerea Prison, and in May, 2005, the Council placed an advertisement in the national press for the post of Assistant Librarian. The Union objected because it was by way of open competition.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 5th of December, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 9th of March, 2006, in Roscommon.
3. 1. The post is a promotional post for Library Staff employed by the Council. It is not a specialist post as the Council claims.
2. In national discussions on"Branching out - A new Public Library Service"it is agreed that such posts will be confined to staff currently employed with the Council for first filling.
3. It is not acceptable that where a post is funded by the IPS different arrangements apply to the filling of such a post. The Council is the employer and custom and practice must apply.
4. 1. The majority of posts in the Local Authority service are filled by open competition and are open to all qualified applicants.
2. In particular circumstances, the first filling of a new post may be carried out by confined competition from time to time. This usually happens by way of agreement but there is no such agreement in relation to the filling of the current post.
The dispute before the Court concerns the filling of an appointment for the new position of Assistant Librarian at Castlerea Prison. The Union disputed the actions of the County Council in proceeding to advertise this new post without entering into consultation with the Union. It contended that as the position is a promotional post it should be filled by confined competition, in line with custom and practice. The County Council, on the other hand, submit that the majority of posts are filled by open competition and that no national agreement exists on the filling of posts. It held the view that as a specialist post it should be filled by open competition.
Having considered the views of both parties, the Court recommends that as a conflict has arisen concerning the method of appointment for the new post, consultation between the parties on the filling of the post should now take place. This process should commence without delay and should be completed within a period of four weeks from the date of this recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd March, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.