INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
COISTE NAOMH CHIARAN
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Introduction of hourly rate.
2. The dispute involves the four crew members of the "Naomh Chiaran II", a ferry boat which operates between Cape Clear and Baltimore, Co. Cork. The claim by the Union is that the four workers be paid an hourly rate rather than a composite rate. The workers' rates of pay, as of the 1st January, 1997, are as follows:-
Captain £282.68 per week
Vice Captain £261.66 per week
Deck Hands £240.63 per week
The Union claims that the above rates are consolidated rates which include compensation for basic weekly pay, service pay, 39 days basic pay in lieu of extra hours worked and 16 days basic pay in lieu of public holiday. The Union maintains that the real basic rates are as follows:-
Captain £225.68 per week
Vice Captain £202.36 per week
Deck Hands £192.00 per week
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place on the 16th of July, 1997. As the parties did not reach agreement the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 28th of July, 1997. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 15th of October, 1997, in Cork.
3. 1. The four workers offer a vital service at all times of the year. They work long hours, well in excess of the average workers. As a result they are paid, hour for hour, substantially less than the average worker. (Details of the hours worked by the crew were given to the Court). Management admits that the hours of work have increased over the years, but wages have not increased in line with the extra hours. Because of the responsibilities and skills involved, the workers should be paid the appropriate hourly rate.
4. 1. The workers were given pay increases of 12% and 3% in 1991 and 1994 respectively for the extra hours worked. They have received all national wage agreements. They also receive a meal allowance which was increased in November, 1996. The Coiste has to get an annual subsidy and it cannot afford to pay more than it does. Because of the nature of the work, it is difficult to keep check on the number of hours worked.
The Court considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
It is accepted that there has been an increase in the number of sailings and, consequently, the number of hours worked, in recent times.
However, the Court is satisfied that these increases have been compensated for by the special increases of 12% in 1991, 3% in 1994 and the significant increases in expenses during the period.
Therefore, the Court does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th November, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.