INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
EVE HOLDINGS LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY EASTERN HEALTH BOARD)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. 1. Retrospection 2. Long service increments 3. Number of Supervisor-In-Charge posts
2. The Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Eastern Health Board (EHB). It was set up in 1991 to provide vocational training and rehabilitation services to people with special needs, and employs approximately 150 people. The staff concerned in the claim are made up of clerical, supervisor/instructor, personal development co-ordinators, and centre/area managers.
In May, 1995, SIPTU submitted a pay claim for all staff under Clause 2.3.(a) of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work (PCW). In March 1997, management made an offer based on a combination of the application of EHB craft and clerical rate. The offer was rejected by the Unions, who in turn put a counter proposal based on interim lump sum payments, and an independent third party review (details supplied to the Court). The Company agreed to the proposal, and a review began in June, 1997. Although expected in August, 1997, the review (known as the 'Flynn Report') did not appear until October,1997. In August, 1997, The Company agreed to make "payment on account in relation to the PCW claim". The payments consisted of gross lump sums of £400 and £800 respectively, depending on the length of service of the workers concerned.
Following the Report, which covered a wide range of issues, the parties met to discuss the recommendations contained in it. The Unions proposed that an independent facilitator be appointed to assist with the Report. The facilitator's report (the Casey Report) was issued in July, 1999. Agreement was reached on many issues ,apart from the 3 before the Court in the present dispute.
At the hearing, however, it was clarified that there was general agreement between the parties on the issues of long service increments, and Supervisor-in-Charge posts. On the third issue, the Unions are seeking retrospection of the PCW claim to 1995. Management's view is that the review process will effectively mean restructuring/regrading, which will yield significant benefits for the staff.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission, and a conciliation conference took place on the 18th of January, 2000. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 3rd of March, 2000, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th of April, 2000.
3. 1. The present claim arose from an outstanding pay claim under the local bargaining clause (3%) of the PESP, dating back to 1992. The offer made by the Company in March, 1997, was rejected as it did not address all the staff's aspirations on pay and conditions.
2. Local management has stated that retrospection was not an issue in settling the claim under the PESP/PCW, and in the context of the Flynn Report. The independent facilitator from the Casey Report requested a meeting with the parties to discuss the issue of retrospection, but the Company refused to attend.
4. 1. It is estimated that the percentage costs proposed would amount to approximately 16%, far in excess of the 3% provided for by the PCW. Management has proposed a flexibility agenda to improve efficiencies. Whilst these measures yield some savings, management will still be restricted as regards the amount of retrospection it can pay.
2. The Company has already paid interim payments of £400 and £800, with most of the workers having received the latter. It would not be appropriate to apply increases retrospectively, overlapping with these lumpsums.
The Court has carefully considered the submissions of the parties, and recommends as follows in relation to the 3 issues referred to it for investigation:
Retrospection on PCW claim.
The relevant increases should be implemented with effect from 1st April, 1998. In the circumstances of this case, the Court recommends that the lead-in lump sums paid to the employees concerned should not be deducted from the amount due to each individual, and should be regarded as being in lieu of any retrospection claimed before that date. The implementation of the process should be conditional on acceptance by the Unions of the full range of flexibility/productivity measures proposed by the Company.
In the course of the hearing, it emerged that the Company was prepared to apply long-service increments in the terms recommended by the agreed third party. The Court notes the Unions' acceptance that this meets their claim.
The Court recommends that the Unions accept the employer's offer to create 10 such posts, inclusive of the existing post. The manner of filling these posts should be agreed between the parties
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th April, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.