INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
NATIONAL BUS AND RAIL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. (i) Rates of pay for grades involved, (ii) Lead in Payment for proposed changes.
2. The claim concerns 40 workers within the Ancillary Group comprising of the grades of senior operative, general operative, security,and cleaners. The Unions are claiming increases in the new pay structures put forward by the Company in return for the claimants participation in the Company's Productivity Change Programme. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and, following numerous conciliation conferences in 2000 and 2001, many details of the Change Programme were agreed. However, no agreement was reached on the issues of pay and the lead-in payment. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 10th of October, 2001. The dispute was received in the Court on the 10th of October, 2001. A Court hearing was held on the 5th of December, 2001.
3. 1. There has always been a traditional link between drivers/conductors and ancillary staff. The Company, in its offer on pay, failed to recognise the link. Originally the difference in pay between drivers/conductors and ancillary staff amounted to £5.81 (7.38 Euro) per week or 3.15% of basic pay. The present gap between a TPO driver and parcels porter is £109.78 (139.39 Euro) as at April, 2001.
2. The impact on the claimants of the proposed changes is very significant. The claimants currently work a 6 day week with a very high dependance on them to
work overtime and rest days. This arises because of the Company's failure to fill vacancies. In order to maintain service the claimants are expected to cover the deficit in numbers on the roster.
3. The Company's proposal significantly dilutes the earning power and social conditions of the claimants. The justification for payment of an increase over and above the Company's offer is based on many factors i.e. reduction in premium rates in areas such as Sunday rest days, overtime premiums on rest days, Sunday shift premiums, reduction in numbers in Bus Arus, contracting out of services, proposed roster changes, acceptance of new work practices.
4. In relation to the lead in payment, the Union is seeking £5,000 (6348.69 Euro) per worker in view of the very significant changes agreed to by the claimants.
4. 1. The proposed changes for ancillary grades are no less radical than those agreed with drivers. Percentage national pay awards over the years have ensured that the relationship in pay for both groups was maintained. Prior to May, 2000, when the drivers Change Programme was agreed, security staff in the ancillary grades had a basic of £198 (251.41 Euro) per week. At that time, the basic rate for a driver was £189 (239.98 Euro) per week. Security staff had 5.5% more than drivers. The drivers agreement provides for £330 (419.01 Euro) per week basic in May, 2000. The security staff have been offered £258 (327.59 Euro) per week at the top rate. Drivers, therefore, have 22%more now than security staff. Drivers can continue to enjoy overtime opportunities but ancillary staff are confined to 48 hours per week.
2. The Company offer to the claimants amounts to approximately 20%. In order to maintain the relativity in pay with their driver colleagues, the offer must be increased to 40%.
3. A lead in payment of £5,000 (6348.69 Euro) per worker is sought in return for acceptance and smooth implementation of the Change Programme. Many of the claimants are long serving employees, however, in the driving section many workers with little service still received £5,000 (6348.69 Euro) compensation.
5. 1. The Company does not accept that a pay relationship with drivers ever existed. However, when cognisance is taken of consolidation of allowances factor in the Drivers Change Programme deal, the nett increase in basic pay for drivers at the top of the scale was 19%, which is the same minimum increase now being offered to ancillary staff. The Company cannot countenance an increase of 40% being sought by the Unions. The savings accruing from the suppression of 4 posts in Bus Arus will fund approximately 40% of the overall pay increases. The shortfall in the self-financing aspect will be justified through an improved standard of service generally to customers.
2. The lead in payment of £2,000 (2539.48 Euro) offered by the Company to staff for acceptance of the Change Programme also covers loss of earnings. The Company cannot pay £5000 (6348.69 Euro), paid to drivers, as claimed by the Unions. In the case of drivers, there was much more disruption and change involved in their new agreement than is the case with the proposals for the Ancillary Group. The lump sums paid to drivers also incorporated any loss of earnings associated with these changes.
Having considered the submissions of the parties on the issues before it, the Court recommends as follows:-
Pay for Ancillary Grades.
The Court recommends that the rates offered by the Company be increased by 5% at each point of the proposed scale.
Lead in Payment.
The proposed lead in payment should be increased to £3,000 ( 3809.21 Euro) on the terms proposed by the Company.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.