INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
2. The dispute concerns a claim on behalf of the clerical/administrative staff in the Limerick store for a pay differential over the current scale for sales staff. Presently, both grades of workers receive identical rates of pay.
In April, 2000, negotiations on improving the rates of pay of sales staff commenced. A set of proposals which applied to clerical and sales staff issued and, following a ballot by sales/catering staff in June, these proposals were accepted. The Union claims that the clerical/administrative staff did not vote as they wished to pursue a separate claim. In May, 2000, the Company wrote to the Union, stating that it would not consider any further claims. Part of the basis of the Union claim was the introduction of a Head Office Function Clerical rate in Strand Street/Henry Street in Dublin, which was above the clerical rate of pay in Limerick.
The Union referred the dispute to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place in November, 2000. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 23rd of November, 2000, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 28th of March, 2001, in Limerick, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The duties and responsibilities of the workers concerned are comparable to clerical/administrative staff employed in other organisations (private and public) in the Limerick area, yet the workers concerned are paid considerably less (details supplied to the Court).
2. The Company conceded the higher pay rate to a substantial number of staff in Henry Street in Dublin. The Limerick workers are doing similar work and should receive the higher rate. There is a considerable difference between the rates.
3. The claim was first made in October, 1999, before discussions got underway in Limerick. The Union had made it clear that it wanted separate negotiations for the clerical/administrative staff, and, as a result, those workers did not participate in the ballot in June, 2000.
4. 1. The parties reached agreement in May, 2000, on new pay scales which included clerical staff. This was voted on and accepted in June, 2000. The same scale has always operated for clerical/administrative staff and sales assistants.
2. The Company has implemented the terms of the agreement. The Union cannot now make a separate, cost-increasing claim, which would be precluded under the terms of the national agreements.
3. The workers in Strand Street/Henry Street receive a higher rate of pay because they perform a range of duties different to the duties of the clerical staff in Limerick. There are store clerical staff in Henry Street who are on the same pay scale as Limerick clerical staff.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court does not accept that a substantial basis exists on which the long established pay parity between sales and clerical staff should be broken.
For this reason, the Court does not recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
12th April, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.