INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DUNDALK CAMPUS CANTEEN LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Increase in pay.
2. The dispute concerns a claim by the Union in relation to pay differentials for 18 canteen staff employed by Dundalk Campus Canteen Ltd., a subsidiary company of Dundalk R.T.C. (College) who are paid an hourly rate of £4.10 and 3 canteen staff directly employed by the College who are paid a rate of £5.30 per hour. Up to the end of 1994 the claimants were employed by the College. At that time, all canteen staff were transferred to Dundalk Campus Canteen Ltd., under the same terms and conditions of employment which they previously had. The Union is seeking a rate of £5.00 per hour for its members with retrospection to the 1st February, 1997. It is also seeking a Christmas bonus of £150 per employee.
The Company claims that the canteen is not making a profit and that the funds available to meet this claim are very limited. At a final meeting between the Company and the Union the following productivity proposals were put forward by the Company in an effort to resolve the dispute:-
(1) A regrading of Canteen Assistants into Canteen Cashiers and Assistants;
(2) An offer of £4.40 per hour to Canteen Assistants and £4.60 per hour to Canteen Cashiers.
The offer was rejected by the Union.
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 9th July, 1997 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 4th December, 1997 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 11th February, 1998.
3. 1. The rate of pay for comparable employment in RTC's in Galway, Cork and Letterkenny is in excess of £5.00 per hour.
2. The workers concerned provide an effective and efficient service to all users of the canteen facilities and these facilities are an integral part of college life.
3. There is no justification for having two different rates of pay for workers doing exactly the same job.
4. The Company has made cost savings where workers have left and have not been replaced. The workers concerned in this claim should benefit from these savings.
5. The workers concerned have to sign on for Social Welfare benefit on every occasion when the College closes for Summer, Easter and Christmas holidays.
4. 1. The rate of pay for the 3 employees directly employed by the College is determined by the Department of Education and their pay has increased substantially because of a recent special pay award.
2. The Company accepts that the differential exists. However, it could not continue to trade if the rate of pay was to increase substantially.
3. The Company made a loss for year ending August, 1997 of £5,537. Payroll costs account for approximately 80% of total expenses. It cannot afford any further cost increases.
4. The reasons for the differential has a historical basis dating back to the foundation of the Institute when it was under V.E.C. control. When the Institute gained autonomy in 1993, it inherited the situation and it was further exasperated by the Department of Education's upgrading of part-time cleaners on 1st January, 1993.
5. The canteen is a facility provided for students. The focus of the service is to cover liabilities and where there are surpluses to use these to improve student services.
The Court has considered the submissions (including financial information) from the parties and recommends as follows in relation to the claims made.
(1) The Company offer of £4.40 per hour to Canteen Assistants and £4.60 per hour to Cashiers be accepted with effect from 1st September 1997.
(2) A Christmas bonus of £50 per person be paid.
(3) That with effect from 1st September 1998 the rates be increased to £4.55 and £4.75 respectively.
(4) That the parties negotiate and agree productivity as outlined to the Court.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th February, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.