INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
ST ANDREW'S COLLEGE DUBLIN LTD
(REPRESENTED BY DYLAN MACAULAY & CO)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal of a Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-077394-Ir-09/JT
2. The case before the Court concerns an appeal of a Rights Commissioner's Decision. The Employer argues that the Worker, a Secondary Teacher, was precluded by Statute from having her grievance heard by the Labour Relations Commission under Section 23 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Worker contends that she has two contracts of employment. The first, a written contract of employment with the Employer agreed in 1996. A second contract of employment came into being after the Worker became a recognised full time Secondary Teacher in receipt of her salary from the Department of Education and Skills, which commenced in 1999/2000. The Worker is taking the dispute under her original contract of employment with a private sector employee.
The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 22nd January, 2010, the Rights Commissioner issued his Recommendation as follows:
"Having examined the submissions made by both parties Section 23(1) specifically states "a teacher in a secondary school" (there is no qualification or variation in regards to this section). Therefore it is my decision that I have no jurisdiction to hear a case under this Act as the Claimant's employment specifically excludes her under the terms of the Act."
On the 28th January, 2010 the Worker 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 July, 2010.
3. 1 The Worker has a contract of employment with a private sector employer, which pays a salary. Under that contract she has the right to pursue a dispute against the Employer under the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
2 The Worker should not be discriminated against by virtue of the fact that she has two contracts of employment.
3 The Employer's appeals procedure states that the decision of the Board of Management is full and final and does not allow for any third party involvement to conciliate. This is in breach of the Department of Education and Skills directives and the ASTI/Joint Management Board Grievance Agreement.
4. 1 The Employer contends that the Act excludes Secondary School Teachers from access to the Labour Relations Commission.
2 If the legislature had intended to distinguish between privately employed Secondary Teachers and Secondary Teachers employed under the State, the Act would provide for this.
3 Secondary Teachers are served by an agreed Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration which operates to provide a means acceptable to managerial authorities of Schools, the Unions and the Minister for Education and Skills which deals with working conditions and trade disputes.
Having fully considered the submissions of both parties the Court is satisfied the Worker involved is employed as a Secondary Teacher in a Secondary School and accordingly is not a "worker" for the purposes of Section 23 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 (the Act) and is excluded from processing a dispute with her employer through the Rights Commissioner Service of the LRC pursuant to the Act.
The Court accordingly upholds the Rights Commissioner's Decision and rejects the appeal.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th August, 2010______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to David P Noonan, Court Secretary.