ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00001271
Complaint(s)/Dispute(s) for Resolution:
Complaint/Dispute Reference No.
Date of Receipt
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969
Date of Adjudication Hearing: 16/11/2016
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Michael McEntee
In accordance with Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 following the referral of the complaint(s)/dispute(s) to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint(s)/dispute(s) and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint(s)/dispute(s).
Attendance at Hearing:
A County Council
Summary of Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:
The Complainant was employed until 1st June 2014 in the housing maintenance Dept. of Respondent Urban Council. On that date he was transferred to the main Respondent County Council on the abolition of the Urban Council. On the 25th February 2015 the Complainant was informed verbally that he was to be transferred to the Roads Department the following Monday morning. Extensive discussions followed with SIPTU and the Respondent Council. Currently the Complainant is in the Graveyard maintenance unit of the Roads Section. The matter and other associated issues regarding allowances paid/not paid eventually ended up in a formal Grievance lodged on the 17th March 2015. This triggered a full investigation by a Senior Executive of the Respondent. The investigation, while exemplary, fell short of recommending the transfer of the Complainant back to his original work location in the Housing Department. SIPTU on behalf of the Complaint requests that this be done.
Summary of Respondent’s Submission and Oral Presentation:
The basic facts/dates of the case were agreed with the Complainant. The matters were fully and properly investigated in the Grievance report findings. Many of the findings in the Grievance Report supported the Complainant’s point of view.
However it is not for an Adjudicator to reinvestigate the Grievance complaint save to note that the Respondent Council fully complied with all proper procedures in it’s handling of the Grievance complaint regarding the movement of the Complainant from the Housing Section to the Roads Section.
The Respondent Council should be recognised for its professional handling of the Grievance and the matters left rest at that.
Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 requires that I make a Recommendation in relation to the complaint(s)/dispute(s) in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under Schedule 6 of that Act.
Issues for Decision:
Has the Complaint established a well-founded case to be returned to the Housing Section.?
Legislation involved and requirements of legislation:
Industrial Relations Act, 1969
The Grievance Investigation report by Ms. AX of the Respondent Council was exemplary both in the manner of the Investigation, the good procedures followed and the well-structured Recommendations.
However I have to query a significant point made in 3:1 of the Conclusions quoted below.
(The Transfer) --- This reflects inequitable treatment of an employee (the Complainant in this instance) The transfer was not carried out in line with the requirements of the Respondent Local Authority Mobility policy. This situation cannot be appropriately addressed in the reversal of the as this would result in the poor treatment of another member of staff.”
The Transfer of the Complaint was inequitable –unfortunately another employee was reallocated to facilitate this transfer and this latter employee may feel aggrieved if the transfer of the Complainant, to essentially right a wrong, is now reversed. The suggestion being that this unnamed employee will also have to have his move from Roads to Housing reversed to maintain budget numbers in Housing,
To refuse to right the legitimate wrong done to Complainant (clearly acknowledged in the Grievance Report) on this basis is clearly inequitable and unfair.
I strongly Recommend that the Complaint be moved back to the Housing Section as soon as possible (even if it results in a short term over manpower budget figure in the Housing Department) and all other aspects of the Grievance Report by Ms.AX be speedily implemented.
Dated: 5th January 2017