INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
COOLOCK AND ARTANE CREDIT UNION
(REPRESENTED BY MANAGEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES (IRELAND) LIMITED)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Dispute concerning terms and conditions of employment.
2. In 1994 the workforce became unionised and negotiations commenced between the Union and Management on salary scales, new rosters, contracts of employment and related matters. A number of meetings were held at local level during 1994 and 1995 without agreement being reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and three conciliation conferences were held between 8 November, 1995 and 22 January, 1996. Following the final conciliation conference the Industrial Relations Officer outlined the following proposals by letter dated 29 January 1996, which he understood were provisionally agreed by the parties at conciliation. The proposals were to be taken in conjunction with the revised contract of employment and any local agreement reached by the parties.
1. Remuneration - an eight-year nine-point scale, starting at £8,000 with a maximum of £13,750.
2. Assimilation - 7 workers at various points ranging from four to seven.
3. The salary structure to become effective as from 1st January 1996 and to be inclusive of the first increase of the 3rd Phase of P.C.W.
4. Incremental date to be 1st January 1997 and each year thereafter.
5. A retrospection sum based on the number of hours worked in 1996 to be paid
6. The working week to be 361/2 hours reducing to 36 from 1st January 1997.
The terms were acceptable to the Credit Union. The Union sought the following amendments:
1. An increase in the salary scale.
2. A reduction in the working week to 351/2 hours.
3. 5% Employer's contribution to the pension scheme.
These proposed amendments were rejected by the Credit Union on the grounds that it could not afford the increased costs. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 2nd May 1996. A Court hearing was held on the 24th May 1996.
3. 1. The workers concerned are entitled to the same salaries and hours of work as employees in similar sized credit unions. In a recent Labour Court hearing involving a much smaller Credit Union (Trinity) the Court recommended in favour of a salary scale of £13,750 and a 351/2 hour week (LCR 15073 refers). The Union seeks a salary scale closer to that paid by Finglas Credit Union (Max. £16,716). This Credit Union is similar in size to the Coolock Artane Credit Union.
2. The workers concerned have given significant co-operation by way of increased flexibility, changes in work practices, and agreement to redundancies.
3. Staff levels in the Credit Union are below the level set by the League of Credit Unions. The Credit Union can afford to pay the costs associated with the claim. It is also in the top fifty out of over 500 credit unions.
4. The formula for assimilation sought by the Union should be that most commonly used in the industry i.e. existing salary should be plotted onto the new scale at the nearest point (higher) and increased by one increment.
5. Management proposed to make a 5% contribution to pensions during negotiations, then altered its position to 21/2 %. The minimum contribution required to establish a reasonable pension would be 5%.
4. 1. Management is convinced that the position as summarised by the Industrial Relations Officer in his letter of 29th January 1996 was provisionally agreed at conciliation. The Credit Union would not have made so many concessions if it did not believe that there were grounds for settlement.
2. The terms put forward were very reasonable in the context of overall concessions made by the Credit Union. It has, in the interests of good industrial relations, allowed the operation of a system where staff are working artificial hours in relation to their rosters. This resulted as part of a concession made by Management at the beginning of conciliation, believing that a resolution was imminent.
3. The IRO proposals, which he and Management believed were made on the basis of being reasonable and being recommended for acceptance by both negotiation parties should be implemented. The retrospection period, which was applicable from January 1995 should now be moved to be one year from the date of the Court's recommendation, as in the interim, the Credit Union has had to carry the costs of the old arrangements since negotiations broke down.
The Court, having considered all the information before it, makes the following recommendation:
(A) Salary scales to be from £8,000 to £14,000.
(B) Hours of work to be 361/2hours, reducing to 36 hours from 1st January, 1997.
(C) Salary structure to be effective from 1st March, 1995.
(D) Company contribution to pension to be 5% from date of agreement.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th June, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.