INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
BANK OF IRELAND
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Walsh
1. Proposed upgrading of security systems at Head Office and its effect on staff.
2. The dispute before the Court involves a proposal by the Bank to upgrade its security systems at its Head Office in Baggot Street. It wants to take advantage of the current advances in security technology by installing control rooms, remote cameras etc.
Both sides agree that it will have an effect on the status quo which has obtained since 1972. Those affected include 6 day and 4 night security staff, as well as 11 porters who have acted up on security duties on overtime when requested.
It is proposed to change the shift patterns and hours of attendance, including in some areas, 7 day, 24 hour cover and the use of outside vetted security firms.
There will be substantial loss of earnings for the staff involved. The Bank proposes to buy out these losses at 62 times x the weekly loss.
The Union is seeking compensation as follows:-
- overscale payments (to compensate for loss of opportunities arising from the introduction of outside contractors);
- increase in shift premium from 25% to 33.3%;
- continuation of self-covering for annual and sick leave;
- increased car parking;
- lead-in lump sum payment (to compensate for loss of position through non-replacement);
- ongoing payment to compensate for loss of earnings;
The Bank put forward the following proposals:-
- no ongoing payment whatsoever;
- increase in shift payment from 25% to 27%;
- 62 weeks' buyout as per BSRC/SIPTU formula;
- "Goodwill" lump sums as follows:-
Day Security - £1,000 gross
Night Security - £ 500 gross
Porters - £ 250 gross
- no car parking spaces available;
- no acting-up on self-relieving;
- 2 men in control room (one at all times);
- Main Room allowance (£15 per week to be paid in loading bay);
- no extra staff;
The Bank's proposals were rejected by the staff.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. Conciliation conferences were convened on the 7th November, 1996, 13th January, 1997 and the 24th January, 1997 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
3. 1. The Union has no objection in principle to ongoing change provided that manning levels and employees' earnings are protected.
2. There will be substantial cost savings accruing to the Bank as a result of the reorganisation. The staff concerned should benefit financially from these savings.
3. Staff will suffer significant financial loss as a result of the proposed reorganisation.
4. There is little scope for promotion for porters except through the security grade. This avenue of promotion should be maintained.
5. The Bank should continue to utilise porters in an acting up capacity in security posts, as they have done for the past twenty-five years.
6. Other staff employed by the Bank were compensated following the introduction of new technology in 1982/83 and in 1987. Service staff were excluded from these payments as they were not affected by its introduction.
4. 1. The Bank is anxious that the most up-to-date security systems are in place to protect both staff and customers.
2. It will compensate any employee who suffers a loss of earnings as a result of the reorganisation.
3. The Bank has fully consulted with the staff involved since the security review was undertaken and has attempted to meet their concerns in a fair and pragmatic manner.
4. The high levels of overtime worked by security personnel cannot continue in the context of the Working Time Directive.
5. The compensation package on offer is generous and is ahead of such arrangements in other comparable financial institutions.
6. The Bank will provide comprehensive training to all employees on the new security system before it becomes operational.
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions of the parties recommends that the Bank's offer be modified as follows:-
(1) The lump sum goodwill payment to be £1,000 to all 3 categories, Day Security, Night Security and Porters.
(2) The proposed change of shift premium of 27% for day guards should be excluded from earnings when calculating the loss for compensation purposes.
The Court also notes the assurances given by management that security vacancies will be advertised internally initially.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd April, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.