INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
SERVICEAIR IRELAND LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Hearing arising from LCR15754.
2. The case concerns the interpretation of an agreement in respect of the 39-hour week. The full background to the case is in Labour Court Recommendation No. 15754. In it, the Court recommended that the parties reconvene with the mediator who originally helped draw up the Company/Union agreement in March, 1997, to seek his interpretation of the agreement. This meeting took place and the mediator issued his recommendation in April, 1998. However, his findings did not conclude the matter, and the parties have continued to meet to try and resolve the issue.
In September, 1998 the Company put forward the following proposals regarding (a) retrospective payments, (b) actual 39-hour roster and (c) overtime:-
(a) Retrospective payment for those who joined the Company on or before the 31st of August, 1998 as follows:
- those who joined the Company on/before 31/05/97 £180
- those who joined the Company 01/06/97 to 31/12/97 £100
- those who joined the Company 01/01/98 to 31/08/98 £ 50
(b) The long-term aim of the Company is that all rosters will be 39-hours per week.
(c) On the successful implementation of the actual 39-hour working week, overtime will be paid in accordance with paragraph 7.3 of the agreement of March, 1997 - "overtime will be paid at time and a half for additional hours worked in excess of the rostered 40 hours per week".
These proposals were rejected in a secret ballot by a 2 votes margin.
The Union's position is that the Company should:
- introduce a real 39-hour week in line with the expectations created back in 1997
- pay full retrospection to 18th May, 1997, and
- overtime over the 39-hour week should be paid at the agreed overtime rate of 1.5T
Grade 5 @ £6.60 x 83 weeks = £547.80
Grade 4 @ £6.08 x 83 weeks = £504.93
Grade 3 @ £5.70 x 83 weeks = £472.90
Grade 2 @ £5.32 x 83 weeks = £441.74
As the parties could not reach agreement on the issue, it was referred back to the Labour Court. A hearing took place on the 17th of December, 1998.
3. 1. Despite many difficulties, the workers have continued to perform their duties.
2. If the Company's calculation of retrospective payment was paid, those workers with the longest service would not receive their full entitlement. There is a considerable difference between the Union's and the Company's calculations.
4. 1. The mediator's findings (detail supplied to the Court) support the Company's position as regards payment for the 39-hour week. If people work the 40th hour, it will be paid at the flat rate.
2. The retrospective payment offered by the Company was a goodwill gesture. The Union's calculation for retrospection would be approximately £80,000, a figure that the Company cannot afford.
The Court is satisfied that the agreement entered into in March, 1997, by the parties meant that employees would be paid one hour at flat rate for the 40th hour worked.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
5th January, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.