INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal Of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-043459-Ir-06/Jt
2. Due to high costs of catering services in the College, the science restaurant was closed following a review of operations. Staff were given the option of voluntary redundancy or transferring to the main restaurant. The worker transferred to the main restaurant. The worker's shift in the Science restaurant was 8a.m. to 4.15p.m. In the main restaurant the only shift available to meet operational requirements was 11a.m to 7.15p.m. in term and a roster mix of 7.45a.m. to 4p.m. and 11a.m. to 7.15p.m. out of term. The worker transferred to the main restaurant as she believed she would get a roster with her same hours of work. An alternative of 20 hours per week over three days was suggested as a possibility for the worker. At present the worker continues to work 11a.m. to 7.15p.m. under protest and is not taking rostered out of term hours.
The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 14th December, 2006. the Rights Commissioner issued his Recommendation as follows:
"Having considered the verbal and documentary submissions made by both parties. I recommend that the claimant move to working 20 hours over three days."
On 22nd January, 2007 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 21st August, 2007.
3 1 The worker is appealing the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation as the working pattern suggested would have a detrimental effect on her earning and pension entitlements.
2 The worker was offered her original hours of work but would have to take on additional duties and responsibilities that were not in her contract of employment
4 1 There is no contractual obligation or agreement with the Union which obliges the College to offer the worker the same roster that was available on a term time basis in the Science restaurant, following the closure of that facility. The worker was aware that her hours of work were likely to change in the event that she moved to the main restaurant.
2 There are informal indications from other members of the Union that they will seek to revert to their former start times and rosters if the worker succeeds in her claim.
The case before the Court concerns the Union's appeal of the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation, which recommended that the claimant should move to working 20 hours over three days. The Court has considered the submissions of both parties.
In January 2006 due to the closure of the Science Caf� and further restructuring changes in the catering services of the College, the claimant's job became redundant. Along with the other staff involved, the claimant was offered alternative employment on terms agreed with the Union, in the Main Restaurant, including redcirlcing of her rate of pay but with a variation in the hours of work. This agreement also provided for the payment of increases in rates of pay under the terms of Sustaining Progress and Parallel Benchmarking to be paid to the workers concerned.
The College made it clear that it that it was not operationally feasible to operate the hours under the same conditions, which applied to the claimant in the Science Caf�, however, in an effort to accommodate her, it made her a number of alternative offers, all of which were rejected.
The Court is satisfied that the claimant's contract terms changed when she opted not to avail of the voluntary redundancy terms on offer but to accept redeployment to her new role in the Main Restaurant. Consequently, the Court sees no justification for any alteration in the terms agreed with the Union on 23rd January, 2006.
However, if the claimant wishes to work the 20 hours over 3 days as was presented to the Rights Commissioner, the Court recommends that she should be given the opportunity to work these hours and accordingly upholds the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation, alternatively, she should work the hours which apply in the Main Restaurant with effect from the commencement of the new term in September 2007, i.e.
In term: 11am - 7.15pm
Out of term: 7.45am - 4pm and 11am - 7.15pm
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to David P Noonan, Court Secretary.