INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(5), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
NATIONAL BUS AND RAIL UNION
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Increase in pay.
2. The Labour Court heard the above dispute on the 28th of September, 1999. The following is the Court's Recommendation.
Both Unions made claims for a significant increase in basic pay, quantified in the NBRU case as 20%. SIPTU, in addition to an increase in pay claim, are also seeking other changes, including changes in pension and roster arrangements.
Substantive written and oral submissions were made to the Court at the hearing. The Unions argued forcibly that because of the reduction in Government subvention over the years, the bus drivers’ low pay was, to a large extent, subsidising the Company. They quoted that some of the drivers are on Family Income Supplement.
The Company rejected the claims on the basis that it has recently agreed a viability plan with the Unions, that the claims are in breach of that agreement, and in breach of Partnership 2000, and that the Company is not in a financial position to meet the claims.
The Unions argued that, since the viability plan, the industrial relations scene has changed significantly. Economic growth is more than expected and it is clear that other groups, named, are achieving settlements in excess of Partnership 2000. They further argued that their members were incensed at the disclosures coming out of the various tribunals and are insisting that they must now get a living wage. They also indicated that their rates of pay were out of line with a number of other named driver groups and, that the basis on which pay is calculated is different in many cases.
Problems in relation to the Management structure of the Company and the decision-making process within the organisation, were also raised.
While noting the arguments made by the Unions, the Labour Court must reiterate that it is committed to applying the principles and terms of Partnership 2000, until that agreement is completed or a new arrangement is put in place.
The Court having considered all aspects of this case, finds that the current claim as presented is in breach of Partnership 2000.
However, the Court is conscious that there is a wide disparity between the parties in relation to the factual position on a range of issues including:
- Pay and Conditions
- The effect of State subvention
- Comparisons with other driver groups
The Court recommends given this disparity, that an independent third party commence an investigation covering these issues, and possible partnership arrangements that might be entered into within the Company. The review should also examine the current working practices and methods of payment.
The report on this investigation to be given to the parties and used as a basis for future negotiations. The terms of reference and time scale for this investigation to be agreed between the parties.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th October, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.