INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
- AND -
CRAFT GROUP OF UNIONS
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Upgrading of Chargehands.
2. In 2003, the Building and Allied Trades Union (BATU) made a claim for upgrading of a worker from Chargehand to the position of Co-ordinator. The case was referred to the Labour Court and LCR 17583 issued in September, 2003, and recommended as follows:-
"The Court believes that the claim has some merit in that certain duties attaching to the claimant's post might justify a higher grading. However, the Court does not accept that a regrading to Co-ordinator is either warranted or justified.
The Court recommends that the College, in conjunction with all relevant unions, should review the current supervisory structure in the craft area with a view to addressing such anomalies as may arise within the present arrangements.
The claimant's position should then be reviewed when that process is completed".
The Unions claim that the case was a test-case for a number of other chargehands. In 2005, following talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) the College offered to create two new assistant Co-ordinator posts which would be offered to Chargehands (in the craft area) and a number of workers outside the craft area. This was unacceptable to the Unions which maintain that LCR 17583 meant that all Chargehands should benefit from revised supervisory structures. As further talks at the LRC could not resolve the issue it was referred to the Labour Court on the 20th September, 2006, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 7th December, 2006.
3. (1) It has been over three years since the initial claim was made. There was agreement at that time that the BATU claim was a test-case on behalf of a number of Chargehands.
(2) The College's proposal is unacceptable for two reasons:- (1) there is a possibility that the two positions on offer could be filled from outside the Chargehand area and (2) it would cause divisions if only two Chargehands received an increase with no other chargehands receiving a similar benefit.
4. (1) In late 2004 the College put a proposition of strengthening the supervisory structures within the craft group and initially the discussions were positive. However, the Union then stated that LCR 17583 meant that all Chargehands should benefit from the revised supervisory structures, something that was unacceptable to the College. LCR 17583 concerned one individual.
(2) There is agreement for co-operation with revised supervisory structures as part of the Parallel Benchmarking Agreements. The restructuring must be appropriate to the College's needs.
In LCR 17583, the Court recommended that the supervisory structure be reviewed by the College and all relevant Unions with a view to addressing any anomalies arising, following which the position of the then claimant should be reviewed.
It is the view of the Court that the College's interpretation of LCR 17583 is the correct one. The Court does not recommend concession of the Unions' claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
1st February, 2007______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.