INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Change of rosters.
2. The dispute before the Court concerns the Company's proposal to alter the rosters of its maintenance staff ( 4 craftsmen and 1 painter decorator). The rosters are as follows:-
8.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Monday/Friday (2 craftsmen/1painter decorator)
2.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m. Monday/Friday (2 craftsmen)
8.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Saturday/Sunday (1 craftsman)
In December, 1994, management proposed that only 1 craftsman would operate on the late shift with effect from January, 1995. They argue that maintenance work carried out in bedrooms and other areas of the hotel must be done in the early part of the day and that such change in the rosters is provided for under Clause 20 of the Company/Union agreement.
The matter was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference took place on 25th July, 1995. Following the conciliation conference local level discussions took place at which the Union proposed that a new shift commencing at 12.00 noon and finishing at 8.00 p.m. be incorporated in the roster. In return the Union sought an increase in pay and a lump-sum payment on the basis that maintenance staff had not been replaced. Management rejected the proposal.
A second conciliation conference took place on 5th February, 1996 at which the Company proposed that the Union's suggestion of a shift commencing at 12.00 noon and finishing at 4.00 p.m. be amended to 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. As no agreement could be reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 11th June, 1996 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 19th July, 1996.
3. 1. The standard of maintenance in the hotel is very high.
2. The air conditioning in the hotel's bedrooms requires constant maintenance.
3. The Union is concerned for the safety of workers operating alone at night.
4. The hotel is one of only three hotels in the country that has been awarded the Q mark. The flexibility and co-operation of the workers concerned has made a considerable contribution to this achievement.
5. The hotel is now operating with three craftsmen less than when it opened, yet the Company expects the same high standards from its craftsmen to ensure its reputation is maintained. The Company's proposals could have an adverse effect on these high standards. The non-replacement of staff has resulted in additional flexibility and productivity from the maintenance staff.
1. The change in rosters is necessary from the point of view of the efficiency and effectiveness of the maintenance function in the hotel. Rosters must be geared to providing customer services and there is a requirement for flexibility in all departments. The change also presents a more sociable and family-orientated shift pattern without affecting the benefits of the staff concerned.
2. This request is in line with the Clause 20 of the Company/Union agreement which states that a change in rosters will only come about following due consultation and reasonable notice. After 18 months of discussions on the issue, the process of consultation has been exhausted.
3. The Company has fulfilled its obligations under Clause 3 of the PESP and, in doing so, has a reasonable expectation of co-operation with regard to the need for on-going change. In the circumstances where the change can be seen to present minimal hardship to the staff concerned and where it is essential for the effectiveness of the maintenance department, the Court is requested to recommend in favour of the Company's proposal in this instance.
Having considered the detailed submissions from the parties and the details of negotiations/consultations prior to the hearing the Court has concluded that the Company has complied with Clause 20 of the Company/Union agreement.
The Court accordingly recommends that the Union accept the Company's latest proposals for a revised roster.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th August, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.