INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Alterations in hours of work
2. The dispute has resulted from the Company's decision to change the working hours of a Union member, a clerical worker, from 9.15 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. to 8.45 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. The Union claims that this is contrary to a Company/Union Agreement which came into existence following the merger of Dublin Cable Systems and RTE Relays in 1985. There is also a broader issue involved regarding start/finish times.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place on 8th March, 1996. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 4th April, 1996, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 20th May, 1996.
3. 1. The regular start/finish time for clerical workers for the last 11 years has been 9.15 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. A number of workers have voluntarily changed their times over the years and the Union has no objection to this. It does, however, object to the Company's unilateral decision regarding the worker concerned who does not want to change his working hours. The start/finish times were recently confirmed to the workers by a senior manager.
2. The Union is prepared to discuss any changes that the Company might propose in regard to new rostering proposals. However, such changes can only come about if there is agreement by both sides.
4. 1. The Company/Union Agreement states that while clerical staff generally attend for duty between the hours of 9.15 a.m. - 5.30 p.m., staff are liable for attendance over 7 days of the week between 0700 hours and 2400 hours. The worker concerned is in the Marketing and Customer Service department which has become increasingly busy over the last year. A number of staff have been taking customer calls from 8.45 a.m. and it is in this context that the worker's hours were changed. The Company is fully within its rights to make any such change.
2. The Company provides a service over 365 days of the year. The Company/Union Agreement states that "hours of attendance are based on a gross weekly attendance of 44 hours which may be spread over any 7 days of the week". Irregular hours are a feature of the job. The Company is continually developing and, as such, it must have the right to deploy its workers to suit customer demand.
The Court, having considered all of the views of the parties as expressed in their oral and written submissions, recommends that in this case the rostered times be accepted.
The Court further recommends that the parties discuss the rostering requirements of the Company, and the level of roster payments to be made, with a view to an agreement which will avoid similar disputes in the future.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th June, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.