INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Privilege days : outdoor staff.
2. The Union is seeking three privilege days at Christmas on behalf of outdoor staff as are currently granted to indoor staff in the Corporation. The annual leave entitlement for non-officer grades is 20 days' paid leave which was agreed nationally. The Corporation contends that separate conditions of employment apply to officer and non-officer grades, which are reflected in different working hours and overtime rates, and, therefore, rejects the Union's claim.
The issue was the subject of local discussions at which agreement could not be reached. It was then referred to the conciliation service of the Labour Relations Commission and a conference was held on the 5th December, 1996 in Limerick. It was not possible to reach agreement and the dispute was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 10th April, 1997.
3. 1. Anomalies have existed within the Corporation for many years between outdoor and indoor staff. The Corporation states that only officer grades receive privilege days, yet non-officer grades in City Hall, the City Library, Art Gallery and Museum also receive privilege days.
2. The Corporation contends that privilege days are given at the discretion of the City Manager and may be withdrawn by him at any time. However indoor staff who were required to work on privilege days for stocktaking purposes were paid overtime rates for working on these days.
3. All staff are entitled to be treated equally in relation to privilege days. There is no justification for discrimination between outdoor and indoor staff.
4. 1. Outdoor staff receive 19 days' annual leave and 1 day's paid leave on Good Friday, which is in line with other local authorities. They also receive concessions such as a mass hour on Church holidays, "informal" privilege leave of 4 to 6 hours on Christmas Eve and a half hour per week for cashing cheques (a total of approximately 4 days per annum).
2. Outdoor staff have already received their full entitlements under the terms of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (PCW). The Union's claim is a cost increasing claim and as such is precluded under the terms of the PCW.
3. The Corporation, which has a large debt, operates in an increasingly serious financial position. Concession of the Union's claim, which would apply to approximately 320 outdoor staff, would cost approximately £52,000 per annum. It may force a review of staffing levels in view of the potential additional costs and could have knock-on effects on a national level.
The Court, having considered all the information before it, does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th April, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.