INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
HSE WEST- COUNTY CLINIC ST CONAL'S HOSPITAL
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Non-Payment of Increments.
2. The case before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of two of its members in relation to the non-payment of incremental credit. Both Claimants are employed in separate roles within the organisation however both are currently remunerated in accordance with the Grade VI salary scale. The Union contends that the Claimants have been treated in an inequitable manner as a result of the Employer's refusal to apply incremental credit to them. The Union further contends that the Employer has acted in a most unreasonable manner by awarding incremental credit to Employees in analogous grades to those held by the Claimants. The Union as a result is seeking immediate and retrospective application of incremental credit to both Claimants in this case. The Employer rejects the Union's position.
On the 8th June, 2012 the Union referred the issue to the Labour Court, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 25th October, 2012.
The Union agreed to be bound by the Court’s Recommendation.
3. 1. The Claimants have been treated in an unfair manner and have suffered significant financial losses.
2. Many attempts have been made to rectify this issue however the Employer refuses to apply incremental credit.
3. The Union maintains that incremental credit has been awarded to Workers in similar positions to those of the Claimants.
4. 1. The Employer asserts that the Claimants are appropriately remunerated in accordance with the applicable policy and procedure.
2. The Employer is bound by the terms of the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 which precludes the processing of cost-increasing claims. The Employer must therefore reject the Union's claim.
3. Concession of the Union's claim would have significant financial implications on the Employer.
The Union accepts that the Claimants in this case are treated in accordance with the relevant and agreed HSE circulars. It is clear, however, from the uncontested submissions of the Union, that the HSE in the North West region has applied more favourable terms to others in long term acting positions who were afforded incremental progression in the higher post.
It is a well established principle of good employment practice that similar situations should be treated similarly unless there is some objective reason for a difference in treatment. The Court can see no objective reason for treating the Claimants differently from others and none was proffered.
In the exceptional circumstances of this case the Court recommends that the two Claimants be placed on the appropriate point of the scale for the grade in which they are acting, having regard to their service in the higher grade.
The adjustment should made immediately on acceptance of this Recommendation. Having regard to the financial circumstances of the HSE the Court does not recommend that the adjustment be made retrospectively.
For the avoidance of doubt the Court wishes to make it clear that this Recommendation is made having regard to the peculiar circumstances surrounding this case. It is not intended to have any precedent value and should not be relied upon or quoted in any other case or in advancing any other claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th November 2012______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.