INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
AMALGAMATED ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Dirty money allowance.
2. The claim is on behalf of 6 plumbers employed in the Building Services Department of the College, and is for an increase in a "dirty money" allowance from £2.50 per day to £5.00 per day, backdated to May, 1998. (The Union supplied a list of the work done by the plumbers).
The rate of £2.50 per day was increased to £5.00 per day in May, 1998, under the Mechanical Engineering and Building Services Contractors Association (MEBSCA) Agreement ). However, the College claims that MEBSCA is an unregistered Construction Industry Federation (CIF) agreement which applies to plumbers in the construction industry but not in higher education establishments, thereby precluding the 6 workers concerned. The College also claims that a current Analogue Agreement (1997) applies to the workers.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place on the 9th of June, 2000. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 26th of July, 2000, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 6th of September, 2000.
3. 1. Although MEBSCA caters primarily for the construction industry, various allowances, including one for dirty money, negotiated under the terms of the MEBSCA agreemant, apply to craft workers employed in the public sector.
2. There is no mention of dirty money in the current Analogue Agreement (1997) as management claims, or in any Analogue Agreement since their inception in 1979. The only way to increase the allowance is under MEBSCA. The allowance is paid to plumbers in Trinity College.
4. 1. The College was advised by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) that the Analogue Agreement, 1997, precludes any other payment of claims under the terms of the PCW/P2000. The workers concerned are linked to local authority craftsmen who are covered by the Analogue Agreement.
2. It would be anomalous for College staff to have increases in pay covered by the terms of one agreement, while increases in allowances are covered by the terms of a different agreement.
The Court, having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties, is satisfied that the practice has been that the relevant aspects of the MEBSCA Agreement were applied to these employees over the years, in parallel with other agreements.
If the College wishes to discontinue this practice, it should enter into discussion with the claimants with a view to reaching an agreement to this effect.
In the absense of such an agreement, the Court recommends concession of the Union claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th September, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.