INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
LOURDES YOUTH COMMUNITY SERVICES
(REPRESENTED BY MARK FITZGIBBON, SOLICITOR)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Introduction of pension scheme.
2. Lourdes Youth Community Services operates an integrated training, education, recreation and development project in Dublin's inner city. It was established in 1984 and is funded by FÁS, the Department of Social Welfare and Comhairle Leas �ige. Following a Labour Court hearing in 1989 (LCR 12565) concerning pay and conditions of workers in Community Training Workshops FÁS introduced a pension scheme for employees whose salaries are funded by FÁS. The Union's claim for the introduction of a pension scheme is on behalf of three workers whose salaries are funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Comhairle Leas �ige. Management states that it cannot accede to the Union's claim unless it receives additional resources from the funding state bodies.
The claim was the subject of local negotiations and was then referred to the conciliation service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 11th September, 1996. As no progress was made the issue was referred to the Labour Court on the 6th January, 1997 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the issue on the 7th April, 1997, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The Employer carries ultimate responsibility for the terms and conditions of its staff. The provision of a pension scheme is a basic entitlement and it is inequitable that some members of staff are given access to a pension scheme while their colleagues are denied such access.
2. The Programme for Competitiveness and Work provides for the introduction of pension schemes where none exist or where they are out of line with industry norms. The Department of Social Welfare and Comhairle Leas �ige should be compelled to meet their responsibilities in the same manner as FÁS.
4. 1. The Organisation is funded by various state bodies on an annual basis. The budget must be approved by the funding parties who, apart from FÁS, have not provided additional resources for a pension scheme.
2. The commitment of extra resources from the existing budget would make many of the present programmes impossible to operate and would expose the project to possible claims of reckless trading. Management sympathises with the Union's claim but cannot commit itself to funding a pension scheme for which it has no resources.
It is clear that the situation that prevails at present, whereby the source of funding dictates whether or not provisions are made for pensions, creates difficulties within working groups.
An anomaly appears to exist at present whereby one Government agency provides funding, others make no such arrangements. This would appear to be unfair and unsatisfactory, particularly within the same employment.
In this particular case the Court is, as indeed is the Employer, sympathetic to the claim but is conscious that this is a wider national issue.
The Court therefore recommends that this issue be taken up centrally with a view to reaching a suitable agreement.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th April, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.