INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CENTRAL BANK OF IRELAND
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Proposals for re-organisation of catering operations.
2. The dispute concerns the proposed re-organisation of the Bank's canteen facilities at Dame Street and Sandyford.
In 1993, the Bank engaged an outside catering company (Campbell's Catering) to carry out a review of the catering operations. This included such areas as personnel, food production, cost-control, hygiene and safety facilities and equipment. The Bank issued a summary of its findings in February, 1995. The review called for a number of changes, particularly in the area of personnel. A new management structure is to be introduced as follows:-
Head of Catering
Assistant Manager Unit Head
Commis Chef Commis Chef
In Dame Street, the number of catering assistants (CAs) will be reduced by 1 full-time and 5 part-time. In Sandyford there will be a reduction of 3 full-time CAs. The position of Head of Catering will be filled from an outside company. The new positions of assistant manager, head chef and chef in Dame Street and chef in Sandyford will be filled by competition. Existing staff may apply for these positions. Staff surplus will be dealt with by a combination of voluntary early retirement, non-replacement of existing and newly arising vacancies, and other means such as job sharing.
In November, 1995, the Bank made a formal offer of its proposals under the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (PCW) 3% local negotiations clause. The offer was rejected by ballot in December, 1995. In March, 1996, the Bank made a further offer which involved a buy-out of an old service-pay arrangement. This offer was rejected in May, 1996.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and conciliation conferences took place on 17th June, 1996 and 25th June, 1996. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on 9th August, 1996 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 3rd October, 1996.
3. 1. At the onset of the review in 1993, the Bank undertook and promised (1) to maintain current staff levels and (2) that there would be no changes without consultation. The proposals introduced in February, 1995 will see a major reduction in staff levels, and new work- practices (details supplied to the Court) which the Union was not consulted on.
2. The Company's proposals mean that the head of catering and the unit head will be from an outside company. Workers will have to apply by way of competition for their own jobs. The position of salad cook is to cease with duties to be divided among the CAs, although the position of salad cook carries a higher rate of pay.
3. Since the review the workers have co-operated at all times with the Bank. A number of permanent staff have left and have not been replaced. The workers deserve the 3% under the PCW for changes already co-operated with.
4. 1. The Bank must run all its operations and services as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. The review in 1993 made it clear that costs were excessive, mainly because of over-manning. The proposed reduction in staff will be accommodated by a major redistribution of the work order and strict adherence to official times for staff breaks. The proposed changes will bring manning levels into line with the norm in the industry.
2. The Bank has had numerous discussions with the Union in an effort to solve the dispute. To date the Union has not proposed any alternatives to the Bank's proposals. If agreement cannot be reached it might be necessary to consider out-sourcing the canteen facilities. Staff are well paid by industry standards and there is no justification for increased rates other than in the context of the PCW.
Having considered all of the information before it, the Court believes that the proposed structure of the catering organisation is not unreasonable.
However, the Court is not satisfied that sufficient discussions have taken place in connection with the working arrangements etc.
The Court, therefore, recommends that the employees accept the structure, and that the parties now meet to reach agreement on the matters arising as a result.
These discussions to be completed within 1 month. If the parties fail to reach agreement, then the Court will issue a recommendation on the outstanding issues.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th October, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.