INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
NATIONAL COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
2. The dispute concerns the Union's claim for the upgrading of the position of a worker who is currently employed as an Assistant Librarian at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD). The Claimant has been employed by the College since 1980. She has been an Assistant Librarian since 1987. In 1999, the Claimant applied to the College's Staffing Review Committee for an upgrade of her post at NCAD on the basis that since her appointment the Assistant Library post had changed significantly in terms of qualifications required, level of responsibility, range and complexity of duties, level of
decision making and the degree to which the post holder functions autonomously. The Staffing Review Committee agreed that the post should be upgraded. The issue of the level of upgrade was discussed without agreement. At Conciliation in 2003, the Employer made an offer for the Assistant Library post at NCAD to be upgraded to the Assistant Librarian scale at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. The Claimant felt this upgrade to the Assistant Librarian scale at Mary Immaculate College did not reflect the range of duties and level of responsibility attached to her post and rejected the offer. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A Conciliation Conference was held but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 6th September, 2006, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held on the 7th December, 2006.
3. 1. The Claimant deserves a better upgrade than the one offered based on the fact that as sole Assistant Librarian at NCAD the responsibilities of her post exceed those normally undertaken by post holders at her level. Her contribution to the computerisation of library services has also been of enormous significance. The Claimant undertook to research and submit a proposal for the funding of a Language Research Centre for NCAD. The proposal was successful and the Claimant assumed responsibility for the service.
2. In financial terms the Employer's offer compares most unfavourably with the upgrades recommended by the NCAD Staffing Review Committee. Some were worth €8,500 in 2003, while the upgrade offered to the Claimant was worth €1,673. Also the other successful applicants were advised of their upgrade in December, 1999, while the Claimant had to wait until March, 2003, to be advised of her new grade. The upgrades took place in 2001 while the Claimant has yet to be upgraded.
3. On the basis of the Claimant's experience, qualifications, range of duties and level of responsibility the Union feels that the token upgrade offered by the Employer is not acceptable. It has not been possible to find an exact comparator post for the NCAD Assistant Librarian job in another Irish academic library. However, given that a linkage already exists at Lecturer level between NCAD and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and that the Librarian at NCAD is on the Mary Immaculate College, Limerick Lecturer scale, it would appear sensible and logical to link the Assistant Librarian scale (NCAD) with that of Assistant Lecturer at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.
4. 1. The current salary scale of Assistant Librarian in NCAD compares favourably with similar grades elsewhere in the HEA sector. In fact in DCU the salary scale of Assistant Librarian is slightly less than NCAD. Principal duties and responsibilities are similar.
2. When addressing the Union's upgrading claim, a comparator was sought for NCAD among other third level institutions.
Attention was given to size, scale and scope in comparison with other colleges. The nearest institution in terms of scale was Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. NCAD already has established pay links with this college in the senior management grades of Registrar and Head of Faculty.
3. The ongoing development of library services including the use of information technology is a normal and evolving feature of change and modernisation of services, remuneration for which has been agreed by the parties to successful national pay agreements. The College does not accept the responsibilities attached to the post have changed beyond the levels of flexibility and change which would have been expected in the context of national pay agreements.
4. The proposed salary linkage to Mary Immaculate College, Limerick is fair and reasonable. The College is willing to implement that linkage with arrears. To concede a higher scale than the Mary Immaculate College scale would inevitably lead to knock-on claims in respect of the Librarian and from other colleges including Mary Immaculate College and DCU.
The Court has considered the submissions and subsequent material forwarded by the parties.
The Court is impressed by the claimant's credentials and the added value which she has clearly brought to her position in the library at NCAD. Her case should have been disposed of by now.
The Court recommends that she be assimilated, on a personal -to -holder basis, onto the Assistant Librarian 1 A scale in Dublin City University (quoted to the Court as being €46,289 - €54,485) at the maximum point, given her service, with effect from 1st April, 2003.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th February, 2007
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.