Press Release

SIPTU member awarded €15,000 at Workplace Relations Commission in case against UCD

Date Released: 14 April 2022

SIPTU Workers Rights Centre (WRC) has won a €15,000 award at the Workplace Relations Commission for a union member employed at University College Dublin (UCD) after she was denied her entitlements under the Fixed Term Workers Act.

SIPTU member, Dorota Bruce, was employed as an External Relations Officer in the Applied Language Centre in UCD and was seeking a Contract of Indefinite Duration (CID) under the Act as she had over four years of unbroken service and three successive contracts. 

With the support of her SIPTU representative, Ms Bruce followed the internal grievance procedure to have her entitlement to a CID recognised but management at UCD disputed her claim. Her contract was not renewed and the Union referred her case to the Workplace Relations Commission.

At the adjudication hearing, SIPTU Advocate, Shonagh Byrne, argued that Ms. Bruce’s role fulfilled a fixed and permanent need of the university and that she was entitled to a CID under the Fixed Term Workers Act. UCD submitted that the objective justification it set out in each of the contracts was valid. 

The Adjudicator found that the contract she received from UCD in October 2017 was, in law, a CID and that the university had breached the Act “in applying a fixed term to same”.

In her response to her successful claim and award, Ms Bruce said: “The last two years have been a very long and difficult journey. Through that time, I have received great support from my union, in particular my union representative, Shonagh Byrne. I would like to thank the SIPTU WRC for their support of my complaint. The Workplace Relations Commission decision is a great validation.”

SIPTU Advocate, Shonagh Byrne, welcomed the decision and said: “It highlights the importance of workers in the education sector being members of the Union to ensure their legal rights and entitlements are protected.


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