SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Marie
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Allowance Dispute
2. This dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 19 May 2016 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 12 October 2016.
3. 1. Management unilaterally took the decision to discontinue an allowance which was paid to members who had taken on additional duties more appropriate to a higher grade.
2. The payment of the allowance arose due the non-filling of clerical / administration posts and was approved by the majority of the senior management team.
4. 1. The allowance known as the responsibility allowance was subject to a review by government and was ceased in 2012.
2. Authorisation of the allowance post dates the cessation of the allowance and it was inappropriate to pay it to this cohort of staff.
The Court notes that it is agreed between the parties that the dispute is jointly referred under the terms of theClause 5.1 of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2016 (Haddington Road Agreement)and the Recommendation of the Court is binding on the parties.
The matter in dispute refers to the withdrawal of a responsibility allowance paid to seven employees in the Finance Department for taking on duties associated with the development of the Saolta University Health Care Group. These payments ceased to be paid on 28thMay 2015 as they failed to comply with regulations. Management submitted that it was obliged by statute to recover overpayments and sought to recoup the monies paid to the Claimants.
Having considered the submissions made by both parties the Court is of the view that as the payments were sanctioned and approved by Senior Management then such payments cannot accurately be described as “overpayments”, as confirmed by the Chief Operating Officer in an email dated 2ndJuly 2015.
Therefore the Court concludes that no monies are owed by the Claimants in respect of the payments made.
With regard to the matter of the job evaluation scheme at national level for these grades in the health sector, the Court recommends that the Claimants’ roles should be submitted to the process for evaluation, as a matter of priority.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
1 November 2016Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Louise Shally, Court Secretary.