INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CENTRAL BANK OF IRELAND
- AND -
MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE, FINANCE
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Rate of pay of mint supervisor.
2. The Union submitted a claim on behalf of a worker employed as a supervisor at the Bank's minting operation in Sandyford, Co. Dublin. The claim is to secure the same increase in salary for the claimant which Machine and Machine Assistants received following the introduction of new minting presses at the plant . The Union is seeking the increase from 1st January, 1997. The Bank replaced some of its old minting presses with more modern ones which have greater output capacity. An agreement was concluded between the Print Unions and the Bank under which workers operating the new presses received a machine rate of 8%. A target related bonus of 6%, payable as a lump sum, was also agreed.
The Union claims that the worker concerned received the target bonus of 6% but not the 8%. The Bank has offered 4% which is not acceptable. The Union states that an agreement was concluded in 1990 for Machine and Machine Assistants under which the claimant's salary was to move in line with increases secured by the Union. This arrangement has applied up to now. The worker is due to retire within the next two years.
The Bank states that the claimant was not entitled to the 8% machine rate increase as his duties remained substantially unchanged. It claims that the 1990 Agreement provided for the application of general increases only. This claim is not one for a general increase as referred to in the Agreement.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 12th May, 1997 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 15th September, 1997.
3. 1. The worker concerned has received training on the new presses in Germany. He is responsible for (a) directing workers in machine set-ups; and (b) observing operators and machines to detect errors and malfunctions.
2. He is now responsible for two differing types of machines which entails keeping different types of records such as output, downtime, reviewing etc.
3. The supervisor's salary has always moved in line with that of Machine and Machine Assistants.
4. The increased capacity of the new presses has impacted severely on the claimant's duties and areas of responsibilities.
5. The Bank should concede the claim and make it retrospective to the 1st January, 1997.
4. 1. The people affected by the re-organisation in the Mint area were the machine operatives. The claimant's duties are substantially unchanged.
2. The 1990 Agreement provided for the application of general increases such as National Wage Agreements. The machine rate increase was not a general increase as provided for in the Agreement.
3. The Bank has offered the claimant a 4% increase to reflect the changed circumstances in the Mint area.
4. As the claimant is in a Supervisory grade, the Bank would expect some flexibility from him.
5. Concession of the claim would lead to counter claims from the main body of Mint staff.
The Court has given careful consideration to all the arguments presented. In particular the Court has taken into account what appears to be a unique agreement the claimant had with the Bank as to how his salary would be determined.
Accepting that there are two interpretations as to whether this agreement applies in the present case, the Court allowing for the age of the claimant and on the basis that the increase recommended applies solely to him, the Court considers that the Company should concede that the 8% claimed be paid with effect from 1/6/1997.
This recommendation if accepted should not be quoted or referred to in any other matters related to the new machines.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th September, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.