INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Retirement gratuity.
2. The Union's claim is for the payment of a lump sum of approximately £5,000, which would equate to 104 weeks of the worker's pension. The worker joined CIE in 1950 and he retired in 1992, due to ill health. He was aged 57 at the time. The worker continued to receive his full rate of pay until his 65th birthday, due to a combination of driver's disability, reduced pension from CIE and social welfare payment.
The Union first referred its case to the Labour Court on the 11th of February, 1999, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. Initially, the Court felt it would not be appropriate to hear the dispute but, following a statutory meeting, it was decided to proceed with a hearing, which took place on the 15th of October, 1999.
The Company did not attend the hearing or make a written submission, claiming that the case was more appropriate to CIE than to Iarnrod Eireann. The Court did receive a letter from CIE in which it made the following points:- The worker, while an employee of Iarnrod Eireann, was a member of the CIE Superannuation Scheme for Regular Wages Staff. In accordance with the terms of the Transport (Reorganisation of CIE) Act, 1986, employment in one of its operating companies is deemed to be employment with CIE for superannuation purposes only. CIE believes that the dispute should have been referred to it and not Iarnrod Eireann. The CIE Superannuation Scheme is a statutory one and the specific provision is covered by Article 12 of S.I. 115 of 1996 which states:
When a member of the scheme who retires or leaves service
on or after 1 January, 1994 becomes entitled to a full pension,
a reduced pension ..... he shall be paid a retirement gratuity
of 104 times the weekly rate of such pension ....."
Because the worker retired in 1993, which predates the operative date of the Statutory Instrument, CIE believes that the worker is not eligible for the payment of a gratuity, and as he retired in 1993, he is no longer covered by the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act. CIE did state that if the worker was certified fit to return to work, he would be entitled to the gratuity claimed when he did come to retire, as he would be retiring after January 1994, which would comply with the Statutory Instrument.
3. 1. The worker was 42 years with the Company and gave a lifetime of service to it. He paid into the CIE pension fund for 42 years.
2. A year before he had to retire due to ill health, negotiations commenced for an improved pension which would have resulted in a lump sum of approximately £5,000 for the worker. Had the worker not been forced to retire, he would have worked until he was 65 and been eligible for the lump sum.
The employer did not attend the hearing, and the Court’s task in trying to resolve this issue was made all the more difficult as a result, by virtue of the fact that it had to continually communicate in writing with the Company to clarify several issues that had arisen at the hearing. The Court, having considered all the information presented, is satisfied that the claimant went on pension in January, 1993.
The Court does not accept the Union’s arguments that the claimant is entitled to the lump sum negotiated 12 months after this date. The scheme quite clearly states“when a member of the scheme who retires or leaves service on or after the 1st of January, 1994 becomes entitled to a full pension, a reduced pension ..... he shall be paid a retirement gratuity of 104 times the weekly rate of such pension.”
The fact that an employee was in the Company when these negotiations commenced would not entitle the individual to the benefits of that agreement, unless it was agreed as part of that deal.
The Court, therefore, rejects the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th December, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.