SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE (HSE),
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
- AND -
6768 APPROX SUPPORT STAFF
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms O'Donnell
Employer Member: Mr Marie
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Referral under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
2. This dispute relates to the:
- 1. Implementation of the Job Evaluation Scheme.
- 2. Implementation of phase three and four of the Job Evaluation Scheme findings.
- 3. Improvements in the remuneration of Head Chefs and Chefs in the HSE.
- 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 28 June 2019 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
A Labour Court hearing took place on 28 June, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 22 and 23 July 2019.
This matter came before the Court on foot of a joint referral from the WRC. Both parties have requested that the Court investigate the dispute in accordance with section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990 .
The matters referred by the parties to this dispute are as follows;
1) Implementation of the outcomes of phases one and two of the Job Evaluation Scheme.
2) Implementation of the outcomes of phases three and four of the Job Evaluation Scheme when completed.
3) Improvements in the renumeration of Head Chef and Chefs in the HSE. This issue will be addressed in a separate recommendation.
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 28thJune ,and 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 22 and 23rdJuly 2019
In the early stages of the hearing an issue arose in relation to documents that had been exchanged between SIPTU and the HSE making amendments to the existing 2007 Job Evaluation Scheme. It was SIPTU’s contention that the agreed amended documents constituted a collective agreement reached in April 2017. The HSE did not dispute that the parties had an engagement around the documents and reached an agreement in relation to the amended wordings but did not accept that this constituted a collective agreement. In order to move matters on the Court put the following position to both parties:
- The Court believes that documents exchanged and agreed between SIPTU and the HSE relating to amendments to the 2007 Job Evaluation Scheme in April 2017 constitutes a collective agreement. The Court also recognises that the Employer may have issues around the implementation of the Collective Agreement.
Positions of the parties.
The HSE outlined its concerns in relation to implementation of the outcomes of the Job Evaluation Scheme in the manner requested by the Union. In particular, the Employer highlighted the fact that no provision had been made in the pay envelope for implementation of the outcome of this particular Job Evaluation Scheme before the end of the current Public Service Agreement. The Employer went on to advise that the Public Service Agreement Oversight Body, in February 2017 had agreed that the evaluation scheme should proceed and that the issue of implementation could be dealt with after the evaluations had concluded. It was their submission that their original proposal would have seen an implementation date of 2021. However, following on from their engagements under the auspices of the WRC they were now proposing implementation from 1stNovember 2019 on an across to the nearest point basis with workers retaining their current increment date. It is their submission that this would see the bulk of the costs for phases one and two falling into 2020.
The Employers position in relation to phase 3 is that they are proposing an implementation date of 1stNovember 2020 with phase 4 having an implementation date in 2021.
The Union position is that they are seeking to rely on the implementation provisions contained in the 2017 agreement with the HSE. The Union submitted to the Court that they are prepared to consider an implementation date of October 2018 for phases one and two as that was the date that the phase 1 and 2 evaluations were complete and signed off on. In relation to phase 3 the Union are seeking an implementation date within 2019 with phase 4 to be implemented in 2020. The Union did not dispute the fact that the issue of date of implementation had been addressed by the Oversight body in 2017. It was the Union’s position that since the completion of phases 1 and 2 of the Evaluation Scheme they had been unable to make progress on the issue of implementation in a timely manner with that body. Therefore, they had no choice but to pursue the issue initially through strike action and then through the WRC and ultimately now before the Court.
Having heard the party’s respective positions in joint session the Court then met with the parties separately to get a deeper understanding of the issues in dispute.
Issue 1: Implementation and assimilation of outcomes arising from phases 1 and 2 of the Job Evaluation Scheme.It was agreed between the parties that the evaluation process for phases 1 and 2, were completed in and around October 2018 and that approximately 6,400 workers will benefit from the outcome of that process. The Court recommends that the implementation date for phases 1 and 2 be 1stSeptember 2019 and that implementation be on the following basis:
(1)Those moving from Band 3 to Band 2
-The employer will provide that those transferring from Point 1 of Band 3 to Point 1 of Band 2 will move to Point 3 on their next incremental date, to address an anomaly that would have left them disadvantaged post-transfer.
-Those transferring fromPoints 2, 4 and 7will move to the next cash point and normal incremental progression will apply thereafter as well as any benefit yet to accrue as appropriate from the new entrant salary measure. .
-Those moving across atPoint 3 from Band 3 move to Point 3 on Band 2and, if eligible and yet to benefit from the agreed new entrant salary measure will move toPoint 5at their next increment date in accordance with that measure.
-Those moving across atPoint 5 from Band 3 move to Point 5 on Band 2and, if eligible and yet to benefit from for the agreed new entrant salary measure, will move toPoint 7at their next increment date in accordance with that measure.
-Those moving across atPoint 6 from Band 3 move to Point 6 on Band 2and, if eligible and yet to benefit from for the agreed new entrant salary measure, will move toPoint 9 (scale max) at their next increment date in accordance with that measure.
-Those moving across atPoint 8 from Band 3 move to Point 7 on Band2and, if eligible and yet to benefit from the agreed new entrant salary measure, will move toPoint 9 (scale max)at their next increment date in accordance with that measure.
-Those moving across atPoint 9 from Band 3 move to Point 8and on their next incremental date will move toPoint 9 (scale max). However, those whose next increment falls after1 April 2020will move to the max of scale(Point 9) on 1 April 2020.
(2)Band 3 to Band 1
For those moving two pay bands, assimilation will take place on the basis of next nearest cash point.
(3)Band 2 to Band 1
- Those moving from Band 2 to Band 1 will move across on the basis of the next nearest cash point.
(4)Band 4 to Band 3
The very small number moving from Band 4 to Band 3 will move on assimilation toPoint 6 of Band 3and on their next increment date will move toPoint 7.
Issue 2; Phase 3 implementation.
The Court recommends that the implementation date for phase 3 be1stSeptember 2020and that assimilation be on the same basis as phases 1 and 2 set out above.
Issue 3; Phase 4 implementation.
The Court recommends that the process with respect to Phase 4 should commence as soon as possible but in any event no later than 3 months after the acceptance of this Labour Court recommendation. The Court notes that the experience to-date has seen the job evaluation process take approximately 9 months from start to finish and notes Management’s commitment to complete the phase 4 process within a tighter time frame if at all possible. Implementation date for phase 4 to be the1stof January 2021and assimilation to be on the same basis as the earlier phases.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6 August 2019Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran Roche, Court Secretary.