INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Clause 2 (iii) of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (PCW).
2. Under Clause 2 (iii) of the PCW, the parties agreed a pay package for approximately 350 general operatives and related grades in return for which the College is seeking co-operation on six productivity measures. The Union has difficulty in relation to one aspect of the measures, the objective of which is to achieve full flexibility of deployment of attendant staff between buildings and which, the Union claims, would adversely affect 5 attendants. In view of their seniority, the Union is seeking a red-circling arrangement for the attendants in question who would, however, co-operate with deployment in emergency/unforeseen circumstances. The College's position is that, as all of the attendants have similar contracts and will benefit equally from the PCW, they should give equal productivity.
The dispute was the subject of local discussions and a number of conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission, at which agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court, on the 10th of August, 1999, in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court carried out its investigation on the 6th of September, 1999.
1. The concession sought by management on flexibility would affect only 5 attendants who currently operate on the basis of limited deployment. A number of them will be retiring shortly and it is unreasonable to expect them to make such a change to their conditions.
2. If the workers in question were to be red-circled, they would be prepared to co-operate with deployment in emergency/unforeseen circumstances.
3. The College contends that the conditions of employment of the six members involved provides for such deployment. However, in practice, their deployment has been limited, with the agreement of management over the years. They have always co-operated in emergency situations and unforeseen circumstances and would continue to so do.
1. The vast majority of the College attendants do not appear to have objections to the Management's Objectives document which has been negotiated between the College and the Union. However, a small minority of attendants is refusing to co-operate with a perfectly reasonable flexibility measure and, by doing so are hindering the possibility of PCW Clause 2 (iii) agreement for 350 staff. The College negotiates with the Union regarding various units of their weekly-paid members , e.g., security staff, grounds staff, housekeeping staff. If small numbers of individual staff members were to be permitted to form their own negotiating groups within these units the conduct of industrial relations between the College and the Union would become unmanageable.
2. The flexibility to which the staff concerned are objecting is something which they are obliged to provide under the terms of their employment contracts.
3. Other attendant staff provide cover for Arts Building attendants when they are absent from work due to sickness or holidays. There is no reason why Arts Building attendants cannot provide similar cover for their colleagues, subject to the work demands of the Arts Building at any given time.
Having reviewed the submissions of the parties the Court recommends that the workers associated with the claim accept the proposals on flexibility put forward by the College.
In making the recommendation the Court has had regard to the terms of Clause 2 (iii) of PCW which requires concession of flexibility measures in return for increases in pay.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd September, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.