INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. (1) Head of School Allowance & Retrospection (2) Pay Award From Due Dates
2. The case concerns a claim made by the Union on behalf of its member in relation to (1) Head of School Allowance & Retrospection and(2) Pay Award From Due Dates. The Worker commenced employment with UCD in September 2005 and in February 2008 was appointed to Head of School of English, Drama and Film, receiving a non-pensionable allowance of €13,500. In April 2009 and in accordance with Report No 42 of the Review Body onHigher Remuneration in the Public Sector, the Head of School Allowance was withdrawn. Simultaneously, the Worker was awarded two pay increases under Report No 42 and under Towards 2016- Transitional Agreement.
The Union contends that the Employer unilaterally withdrew the Head of School Allowance and further contends that the Employer has failed to apply pay the above mentioned pay awards from their specific due dates. Management dispute this.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on March 24th, 2010, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 22nd July 2010.
1.The Union disputes the fact that the Head of School Allowance was "unauthorised" and contends that it was withdrawn unilaterally without agreement
2.The Employer is in breach of the contract of employment as a result of withdrawing the Allowance
3.The Union claims that the pay increases awarded to the Worker have not been applied since the specific due dates.
1.Within the provisions of the Universities Act 1997 by which the Employer is regulated, the Head of School allowance was deemed as "unauthorised" and was subsequently withdrawn.
2. The Employer does not have the sanction required under theUniversities Act to restore the unapproved allowance
3. The Employer was not in breach of contract when withdrawing the allowance as the Worker's letter of appointment outlined that the allowance could at any time be reviewed by the Governing Authority. Management contend that no breach of terms and conditions occurred in this situation.
4. Management contend that pay increases could not be applied earlier than April 1st 2009, as there had been no regularisation on the subject of remuneration before that time.
The Court has considered the submissions of both parties in this dispute and has taken into account the submissions made by the representatives of the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Finance who were present in the hearing.
Review Body Report No 42
The Court is satisfied that UCD acted in breach of the provisions of the University Act when it conceded the Head of School allowance to the worker in the first instance but having done it so it was not authorised either to discontinue it in the manner in which it did. However UCD equally had no authority to apply the special pay increase provided for in Report No 42 until the unauthorised allowance was discontinued or no longer applied. It was for the worker to determine whether he wished to continue to be paid the allowance until the contract expired and thereafter have the special increase applied to surrender it and have the award under Report No 42 implemented with concurrent effect.
The Court therefore recommends that UCD revisit the matter and put this option to the worker.
Final Phase Towards 2016
The Court finds that no valid grounds were advanced for withholding the increases due to the worker under the final phase of T16 and accordingly recommends that he be paid this increase with effect from 1 September 2008.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th August 2010______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.