INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TOGHER COMMUNITY YOUTH TRAINING WORKSHOP
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Dispute concerning redundancy terms.
2. The Togher Community Youth Training Workshop was established in the mid 1980s to provide community based training opportunities for people with social, economic or educational handicaps. The Workshop is funded entirely by FAS and managed by a Board of Management which is involved with FAS in the drawing up and funding of contracts. The staff of the Workshop is in turn contracted to the Board of Management, while FAS provides all the funding that pays staff wages. FAS has decided to close the Workshop and five workers are to be declared redundant. Management offered statutory redundancy entitlements. The Union rejected the offer and is claiming four weeks per year of service plus statutory. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference was held on the 24th of February, 1998. Agreement could not be reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 6th of March, 1998. A Court hearing was held in Cork on the 12th of March, 1998. A letter recommendation was issued on the 15th April, 1998.
3. 1. It is unacceptable to the Union that FAS, having decided to close the Workshop, will not discuss a proper redundancy package for the workers nor will FAS allow the Board of Management scope to negotiate a package with the Union.
2. In the event that the Management Committee of the Workshop has to seek prior approval from FAS for any policy decision then FAS must be held responsible for approving a proper redundancy package.
3. There is a clear comparison between FAS and Community Training Workshops staff. This was established following the issue of Labour Court Recommendation No. 12565. FAS subsequently reviewed its payments to Community Training Workshops in respect of staff cuts.
4. Subsequent to the conciliation conference in an effort to resolve the redundancy issue the Industrial Relations Officer contacted FAS and briefed the Agency on the situation, but was advised that it was FAS policy to fund statutory terms only.
5. There is a precedent for paying enhanced redundancy terms in a similar situation, and in LCR11564 the Labour Court recommended three weeks' pay per year of service plus statutory entitlements.
4. 1. Management has sympathy with the Union's claim, however, the Workshop is entirely funded by FAS and the Agency has indicated that it would fund statutory terms only. Insofar as FAS is the only source of funds, Management has no capacity to negotiate enhanced terms.
The Court notes that at the hearing the employer did not dispute the level of redundancy compensation claimed by the Union. In those circumstances the Court is not required to express any view as to the merits of the claim. On that basis the Court recommends that the parties should meet immediately for the purpose of finalising agreement for resolving the dispute.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
17th April, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.