SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSION TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms O'Donnell
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Treacy
1. Incremental credit.
2. This dispute relates to a claim for incremental credit for four Workers who have previous public sector experience but who were put on the first point of the scale.
- 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 25 June 2019 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
A Labour Court hearing took place on 13 August 2019.
3. 1. Documentation from the Department of Education and Skills and the Higher Education Authority make it clear that incremental credit was awardable based on previous experience.
2. Throughout the period 2012 – 2016, the University had the autonomy to revise its policy and afford equal opportunity to all staff for their previous experience recognised.
3 The actions of the University have created an unfair and inequitable anomaly that has left the Workers in a financially disadvantageous position compared to their colleagues.
- 1. In August 2011 the Higher Education Authority issued an instruction that all appointments should be at the minimum point of the salary scale.
2. In 2015 – 2016 the University was finding it difficult to recruit staff of the required calibre and experience it required. The Management Team decided that incremental credit could be awarded for new staff for relevant previous experience.
3. The comparison between those employed to a starter role in the period 2012 – 2015 and post 2016 are not comparable. The employment market has changed significantly between the two periods.
The issue in dispute between the parties relates to a claim by SIPTU on behalf of 4 Workers who carry out various functions for access to the scheme introduced in 2016 which allowed managers to make a case to appoint new entrants to a point on the scale above the 1stpoint. The staff in question were recruited between 2013 and 2015 when the policy was to recruit all new entrant staff at the first point of the scale. SIPTU argued that the fact these Workers did not have access to that schemes put them at a disadvantage in relation to staff who came in from 2016 onwards. SIPTU did not dispute that other Workers would have been recruited to the first point of the scale during that period but their claim was only for the four workers identified.
It is the Employers submission that during the period 2011 to the start of 2016 incremental credit was generally not given and that approximately 300 new entrant staff were recruited during that period to UCD. It was their contention that during that period it was the norm for new entrants not just in their employment but in the Education Sector as a whole to be recruited to the first point and that it was also government policy at that time. Any concession to these four workers would have a knock- on effect across the Education Sector and possibly the wider Public Sector.
The Union did not dispute that during the period these Worker were recruited that the norm was to appoint new entrant staff to the first point of the appropriate salary scale.
The Court having read the submissions of both parties and listened to the oral submissions made on the day finds that the Union did not stand up their claim. Therefore, the Court cannot recommend concession of same.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21 August, 2019Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran Roche, Court Secretary.