INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1); INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT; 1990
CENTRAL BANK OF IRELAND
- AND -
DUBLIN PRINTING GROUP OF UNIONS
1. Claim for compensation for co-operation with proposed security changes at the Currency Centre.
2. In February, 1996, the Bank proposed to implement a range of security measures, affecting 200 employees, at its Currency Centre in Sandyford, Co. Dublin, involving changes in relation to access and car parking, and the use of close circuit televisions (CCTVs). The Union made a claim for compensation in the form of a substantial on-going payment, a lump-sum and additional leave. The Bank rejected the claim and the matter was the subject of a conciliation conference at the Labour Relations Commission in April, 1996. Agreement was not reached between the parties and the conciliation conference was adjourned. On its resumption, in May, 1996, during the course of which union representatives from the Manufacturing, Science, Finance (MSF) Union withdrew, the Union side proposed that Phase 1 of the centre be dealt with separately from Phase 2 (which concerns only MSF), i.e., that in Phase 1, the CCTV cameras would be in place, but would not normally be switched on, except in the case of occurrence of an incident. It was also proposed that a study be carried out now, and again in 2 years' time, to assess the impact of the new system arrangements, and that any claim would be put on hold until them. This was rejected by the Bank, which argued that the CCTVs were for security purposes only and would not be used in an industrial relations context. The Bank added that when the system was fully operational, it would have no objection to an impact assessment study being carried out. The Bank rejected the notion of dealing with Phases 1 and 2 separately. Agreement was not reached and the conciliation conference was adjourned at the Union side's request. On resumption, without MSF participation, the Union side withdrew all parts of its original claim, except its demand for lump-sum compensation. It sought, additionally, that, for workers who clock in, the first swiping of the card at the entrance be regarded as their clocking in time. The Bank reiterated its view that no claim for compensation was justifiable and was not prepared to agree to the Union side's suggestion regarding swiping in being regarded as clocking in. Following further discussions, a set of proposals emerged which both parties agreed to recommend for acceptance and which included reference to a compensation sum of £300. The proposals were rejected by the majority of the unions. The dispute was then referred to the Labour Court on the 25th of June, 1996, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 12th of July, 1996.
3. 1. Under the new proposals, the car park will be moved to the top of the site, which will require people to walk a further 300 to 400 yards to get to the clocking in area. They will have security cards which they will swipe at the new main gate. They will then cross a strip which is a security perimeter area and swipe the card again to get through a second gate. To enter the premises proper they will have to use the swipe card at a third door, only then will they be in a position to clock in. At starting and finishing times there could be a large number of people trying to operate the system at the one time and this could lead to delays with a result that people could be clocking in late. This particularly affects people working flexi-hours.
2. The Bank has installed more video cameras in the work area and stated at a meeting with the shop stewards that all this additional security was necessary because of the "times we live in". This has put a lot of pressure on workers and has made them much more aware of the security elements of their employment than has been the case up to now.
3. It is the view of the workers that any lump-sum payment should be for the additional security that the Bank has proposed and not be an open-ended arrangement whereby the Bank, in the future, could introduce any further security measures under the terms of this proposal.
4. Whilst acknowledging the need for security, the fact that this will impinge on the conditions of the workers in the Central Bank must also be acknowledged. Accordingly, the amount of compensation must be considerably larger than £300 in order to reflect the additional stress and heightened level of security which will have to be endured by the workforce.
4. 1. The Bank's Currency Centre has always been a high security installation and the most modern security equipment and practices are required. The issue of security developments was approached by the Bank in a manner which sought to give staff as much information as was practicable so that people were informed and any concerns raised were addressed as far as possible.
2. The Bank cannot accept that the staff have a basis for substantial and ongoing payments, etc. It has been agreed however, that there will be a period of adjustment for staff with the new security arrangements. In that regard the Bank accepted the recommendation of a lump-sum of £300 for each employee in the Currency Centre.
3. However, as the Currency Centre is a high security facility ongoing change in security arrangements must be accepted by staff. This co-operation would be without prejudice to staff raising any matters by way of normal industrial relations procedures following the introduction of such arrangements but use of these procedures cannot delay necessary security changes.
Both sides accept the need for the strictest security to operate in this area but there are concerns in relation to the monitoring of operating stations.
The Bank has clarified that the system is in operation to monitor security, not personnel.
The Court, having considered the submissions made by the parties, recommends as follows:-
(1) A payment of a once-off lump-sum of £450 to be made to those
(2) In situations of immediate risk, the employees to accept that
changes in the security arrangements can be implemented,
followed by discussions;
(3) All other situations will be the subject of prior consultation and
(4) The Bank to monitor the situation at the entrance of the Centre
and to add an additional point of entry, if necessary.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th July, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.