INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
FUJITSU SHINKO MICROELECTRONICS LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. 1. Rates Of Pay & 2. Conditions Of Employment.
2. The Company employs 400 workers. Details of the Union's claim on behalf of 16 Team Leaders which was originally submitted in 1998 are as follows:
(a) An improved salary structure.
(b) Payment of merit awards.
(c) Facilities for cross transfer to other sections if Team Leader vacancies arose (as applies with the supervisory grade).
Essentially the Union is seeking improvements for Team Leaders to staff conditions as currently enjoyed by Supervisors. The Union's claim is based on Team Leaders' functions and responsibilities which it maintains have evolved and developed over the years. The Company rejected the claim. The dispute has referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 19th of April, 1999. No agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 21st February, 2000. A Court hearing was held on the 6th June, 2000, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The Union's claim is based on internal comparisons under the headings of (a) Planning, (b) Organising, (c) Staffing, (d) Directing Work and (e) Controlling behaviour.
(a) While the Supervisor instructs the Team Leader at the commencement of the shift in relation to production requirements, numbers need, etc., the Team Leader is responsible for ensuring that these requirements are put into practice.
Under (b) the Supervisor schedules the work with the Team Leader allocating the work.
Under (c) the Supervisor is involved in interviewing employees and subsequent placement, performance appraisal interviews, inputs into promotions, etc. While training is organised by the Supervisor, the Team Leader delivers the training. The Team Leader also advises the Supervisor as to the training needs of his/her section.
Under (d) the Supervisor instructs and ensures compliance on a needs basis. The Team Leader directs, motivates and encourages his/her team.
Under (e) the Supervisor is responsible for controlling behaviour, handles grievances and administers discipline. The Union accepts that this is the one area where the Team Leader is not directly involved.
2. The Company is experiencing a period of rapid change both in terms of numbers employed (an additional 100 extra employees have been added to the payroll since the claim was formulated) and products produced. There are, therefore, currently 16 Team Leaders and 250 Operators. The Union believes that the range of duties and responsibilities for Team Leaders has in fact increased since April, 1998, and are as summarised in points (a), (b), (c) and (d).
4. 1. There is a significant difference between the duties and responsibilities of Team Leaders and Supervisors (details supplied to the Court).
2. In an external comparison carried out by Management, the Team Leaders' average basic pay is higher than workers in comparable companies.
3. The Union has not provided an explanation or justification for its claim that the Team Leaders' role had changed considerably. Changes which did occur are those which are normal to any fast moving business such as is carried out by the Company. Such changes do not warrant pay increases, they are necessary to compete and survive. The Procedures Agreement, which is also part of the Contract of Employment, contains a commitment to ongoing change.
4. The Claim is contrary to clause 6 "Stabilisation" of the Partnership 2000 National Pay Agreement. This states "It is agreed that no cost increasing claims by trade unions or employees other than those provided for in clauses 2 and 4 will be made or processed during the currency of this agreement."
5. It should be noted that the Company paid the Local Bargaining increases of P2000 six months early as part of a deal on the extension of 4 cycle shift working and that all Team Leaders benefitted from this early payment.
6. Concession of the claim could give rise to repercussive claims from other grades.
7. The Company has sustained losses in recent years, is in a very difficult economic situation and has to effect significant changes in productivity in order to sustain the business into the future.
The Court considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
While there have been some changes in the role of Team Leaders the Court is not satisfied that this has resulted in an increase in responsibility that would warrant concession of the claim.
The Court therefore does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th June, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.