INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY IRELAND GALWAY
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Cryan
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner Recommendation No: r-143550-Ir-/EOS
2. This is an appeal by the worker of Rights Commissioner Recommendation No: r-143550-Ir-/EOS. The issue concerns the appropriate rate of pay to be paid to the worker following her appointment to the Lecturer (Below the Bar) grade in NUIG. The Union contends that her Lecturing role is analogous to that of her previous role as a University Fellow and in such circumstances she should not have had her starting salary reduced by 10% as applies to new entrants to the Public Service. Management contends that Lecturer (Below the Bar) is an entry grade and as such is paid for at a reduced rate in line with the applicable rates of pay to new entrants commencing employment in the Public Service.
The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. A Recommendation issued on the 9th January 2015 and did not find in favour of the worker's claim. On the 14th January 2015 the Union appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on 14th April 2015
3 1 The worker was employed as Lecturer (Below the Bar) and her pay on commencement of employment was subject to a 10% reduction. Management applied the lower rate of pay on the basis that it was an entry grade and her role was not analogous to her previous experience within the Public Service. The Union strongly refutes this on the basis that the worker was previously employed as a University Fellow and the two roles are most certainly analogous/comparable.
4 1 Management does not accept that the roles of University Fellow and Lecturer (Below the bar) are analogous. The role of Lecturer (Below the Bar) is an entry grade and Management contends that as an entry grade the 10% reduction in pay applies in line with Government Policy.
The net issue between the parties in this case is whether the role of University Fellow in analogous to that of University Lecturer.
This issue arises in the context of a circular letter from the Department of Finance dated 21stDecember 2010 which dealt with the application of a Government Decision of 2ndDecember providing for a salary reduction of 10% for new entrants to the Public Service. In relevant part that letter provides that the reduction should not be applied to those recruited to the same or an analogous grade / role as that which he or she held previously in the Public Service.
The Claimant in this case was previously employed as a University Fellow by NUIG. She was subsequently appointed as a Lecturer below the bar and placed on the post January 2011 scale (with a 10% reduction)
Having considered the content of the role performed by the Claimant while employed as a Fellow and that of her current role, it is clear that the essential characteristics of both roles are broadly the same. Consequently the Court is satisfied that the both roles are analogous.
It follows the Claimant should properly have been placed on the pre January 2011 scale with effect from the date of her appointment. It follows that any necessary consequential adjustment to the Claimant’s incremental placing should be made so as to reflect the position that she would have been in had she been placed on the pre January 2011 scale on her appointment to her current position.
The Unions appeal is allowed and the Rights Commissioner recommendation is amended in terms of this decision.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th May 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.