INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Increase in bonus.
2. The claim is on behalf of 6 farm staff for an increase in allowance from 15% to 25%, to be applied retrospectively to 1994. The workers concerned are members of the pig husbandry department at Moorepark Research Centre. The Union claims that the increase is for the following extra duties that the workers now perform; (i) artificial insemination of sows, (ii) handling sows, (iii) vaccination of sows/pigs, (iv) insertion of stomach tubing, (v) introduction of computerisation, (vi) carrying out of stock count previously done by technicians. The Employer believes that the claim would be in breach of Partnership 2000.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place on the 17th of November, 1998. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 26th of November, 1998, in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 30th of September, 1999, in Cork, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
2. 1. A new pig herd was introduced into Moorepark in March, 1994, resulting in extra duties and responsibilities for the workers concerned. The majority of these duties were performed by technicians who enjoy a rate of pay far superior to that paid to the workers.
2. The workers took on board the new duties in good faith, after being told at local level that a plus payment would be paid to them. Because of the flexibility and co-operation shown by the workers, they should be paid the 25% bonus.
4. 1. The standard allowance for stockman duties in Teagasc is 10%. The higher allowance of 15% paid to staff working in the piggery adequately compensates the claimants for the duties they perform. The Employer's pay rates are in line with those generally in the pig production industry.
2. The workers concerned have benefited from a £12.67 per week special pay increase with effect from the 1st of July, 1997. They will also receive the 2% available under Clause 4 of Partnership 2000. The special pay increase and other improvements in non-pay benefits have been granted in return for a range of productivity measures (details supplied to the Court).
Having given careful consideration to the issues in this dispute, the Court is of the view that it is not in a position to establish the merits of this claim.
The Company claims that the new duties, agreed to be taken on since 1994, fall under the 1999 special pay award under PCW/Partnership 2000.
The Union claims that some of the extra tasks exceed these normal changes and are not normal to the work of this group of workers.
The Court recommends that the parties should agree to an independent review of the duties to establish if they exceed those expected under the latest agreement, relative to other groups. The review should examine the tasks undertaken by similar workers at this level in commercial units and in other pig units operated by Teagasc to ascertain whether there is any reason to adjust the bonus paid relative to the other bonuses paid within Teagasc pig centres. This exercise should be completed by 28th of January, 2000.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th October, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.