INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
SPRING GROVE SERVICES
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
1. Dispute concerning the conditions for 5 over 6 day working.
2. The issue of the 5/6 roster was the subject of a Labour Court investigation on the 24th November, 1995. In LCR15015 which was issued on the 14th December, 1995 the Court recommended as follows:-
"The Court recommends that the 5/6 day working be accepted, that the operation be monitored and that the loss of earnings be evaluated six months after the implementation of the new rosters. Loss of earnings to be calculated in relation to the earnings during the year to 7th April 1995. Any loss to be compensated at a rate of two times the annual loss".
Subsequently the parties entered into local negotiations. While the Union agreed in principle to the concept of a 5/6 roster, agreement could not be reached with the Company on a number of the terms and conditions attaching to the new roster. (Details supplied to the Court).
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and conciliation conferences were held on the 1st and 10th May, 1996. Agreement was not possible and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 12th June, 1996. A Court hearing was held on the 31st July 1996.
3. 1. Crewing: It is necessary to formally agree that crewing levels will be established at current levels.
2. Overtime: Overtime must be distributed equally between maintenance and other workers. A monitoring arrangement should be put in place to ensure overtime is equally distributed between maintenance staff.
3. Duration: Any agreement should be for a period of 2 years after which its operation could be reviewed.
4. The Union has modified its position considerably and has accepted the principle of 5/6 working subject to the minimum safeguards outlined. The impact of the new arrangements on the two workers concerned is substantial. They were employed on normal 5 day working for four years. Moving to the 5/6 roster will cause serious disruption as well as loss of earnings. The new arrangements will bring major advantages to the Company in terms of efficiency and savings. In these circumstances the Union's position on the safeguards it requires is perfectly reasonable.
1. The Company employed the 2 workers concerned on a 5/6 rostered basis in 1992 but when it attempted to implement a 5/6 roster the workers used every conceivable tactic to prevent the roster taking effect.
2. The cost of maintenance in the Ballsbridge plant is higher than that of any other plants in the group. The Company is not in a position to sustain these costs on an ongoing basis.
3. The 2 workers claim that they will co-operate with the 5/6 working but that they are not happy with the conditions attached to same. The conditions outlined by the Company which are attached to the 5/6 working have been operating in the Cork depot since 1989 and are not unique to maintenance personnel. Management believes that the arguments put forward by the Union about conditions is another delaying tactic to prevent a change in their working arrangements.
4. The maintenance department must decide if it is serious about co-operating with the Company on this disputed issue. The principle of 5/6 day working was recommended on by the Court in LCR15015. If the two workers concerned cannot agree to 5/6 rostered working, except with numerous conditions attached, the Company will have to seriously consider the viability of the maintenance department in the Ballsbridge plant.
It was clarified that of the nine issues raised by the Union three remained to be addressed by the Court following the hearing, (A) Crewing levels (B) Overtime (C) Duration of agreement. The Court recommends as follows on these three issues.
The Court notes the Company statement that there are sufficient numbers on the proposed shift arrangements. However, the Court's view is that this situation should be reviewed by the parties, after six months of monitoring.
The Court does not recommend that unnecessary overtime be created in this situation but does recommend that the Company be sensitive to the overtime arrangements across the employee groups.
C.Duration of agreement
The Court's view is that either party may raise this agreement for discussion after two years.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th September, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.