INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
IRISH NATIONAL STUD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Wage increase.
2. The Company is located at Tully, Co Kildare. It has two main operations, the national stud farm and the tourism operation. The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of two Gardeners and three Clerical Staff for a wage increase in line with Gardeners employed by Duchas and Clerical Staff employed by Teagasc. The Company rejected the claim stating that it is cost increasing and in breach of partnership agreements. The dispute was not resolved at local level. The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission held on the 27th of June, 2000. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 1st of November, 2000, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The rates of pay applicable to the Gardeners and Clerical Staff are much lower than the rates of pay of their counterparts employed by Duchas and Teagasc respectively.
2. The Union was not involved in the study carried out by ERS Limited. A further study should be carried out.
3. From 1994 until 2000 there has been an increase in the number of visitors to the stud which has lead to an increased workload for the workers concerned.
4. 1. There has never been a link between staff employed by the National Irish Stud and staff employed by Duchas and Teagasc.
2. A study was carried out by ERS Limited which indicated that the Clerical Staff are on the correct rate of pay.
3. Labour costs have increased over the past two years and the Company cannot afford any further increases.
It is accepted by both parties that the pay of the claimant groups was never determined by external linkage. In the case of operative grades such a linkage had been established over many years and the pay adjustment agreed in 1999 for that group was clearly based on a restoration of that linkage.
It is noted that the Employer understood that concession of the claim on behalf of the operative grades was on the understanding that there would be no repercussive claims on behalf of other groups. The Union denies that any such understanding existed. The Court finds it regrettable that such disagreement should now exist on this central point. In any event the Court does not accept that the restoration of parity in the case of the operative grades can provide a basis for the present claim.
It is also noted that the salary comparison commissioned by the Employer in March 2000 was for the purpose of establishing if the rates of pay of the claimant grades are in line with appropriate standards in comparable employments. While this approach to the Union's claim was useful, it would attract greater authority if undertaken by agreement between the parties and based on agreed terms of reference.
The Court recommends that the parties should agree to have a further survey undertaken within six months, by an agreed third party working to agreed terms of reference. The parties should also agree the range of employment's to be examined for the purpose of comparison, which should include a range of public/private sector and local/national organisations.
The Court further recommends that in the interim the Union should accept the Employer's offer to discuss earlier implementation dates of the PPF increases.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th November 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.