INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Pay and conditions.
2. The dispute relates to the remuneration package and duties of computer sorters employed at the Bank's Central Mailing Unit, Sandyford, Co. Dublin. Local negotiations were not successful and the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. Numerous conciliation conferences were held throughout 2000 and 2001. Following the last conciliation conference in March, 2001, the Bank put forward its final offer which is summarised as follows:-
The Bank is willing to increase its offer from a 5% pay differential to 10% pay differential for the working supervisor to be appointed at Sandyford. The deputising arrangements will remain as previously outlined. The pay arrangements will take effect from the date of appointment.
Number of Permanent Staff
The number of permanent staff can be increased to 7 under the conditions that the Bank proposed and the resourcing review should be carried out at the Sandyford site within six months.
This group should accept the terms offered to the Porters Group, i.e. move to fortnightly pay with a transition grant of £500 for the move being payable in the weekly pay cheque immediately before the new fortnightly arrangements come into being.
A guaranteed pool of 1200 paid hours guaranteed per quarter. Based on six permanent staff members doing an equal share of hours this will give the workers the equivalent of an additional 5.4 weeks' basic pay per quarter (21.6 weeks per year or the equivalent of an additional £8,400 p.a. at the top of the scale). Those who wish to maximise their overtime earnings will be facilitated by the Bank within the limits of the Working Time Act.
For those workers who have been doing high levels of overtime and could potentially suffer a loss into the future, arrangements with regard to comparison of overtime levels before and after the new working arrangements have been proposed. The Bank contends that a lump sum payment consisting of 61 times the identified weekly loss acts as a significant buffer in such cases.
The Bank is prepared to offer an 18% increase in basic pay for the changes in job description and duties expected of the staff in the Central Mailing Unit.
The Bank offers retrospection on pay being paid for a period of 10 months in line with other review arrangements. The Bank estimates that this retrospection arrangement will yield workers, with full service in the retrospection period, lump sum payments of between £2,800 and £5,500. The Bank is agreeable to this retrospection despite the fact that the new duties and roles will not be carried out until some time in he future.
Other Agreed Elements
All other locally agreed elements of the revised role will also form part of the final settlement terms.
The Union rejected the offer specifically in relation to:-
The Union is seeking parity with Eircom Officer Grade 1 in view of the claimants' duties and responsibilities. The Union also wants the workers' job re-titled and bench marked with the Eircom Officer Grade 1.
Workers in the Donnybrook location receive 13 hours (£172). It is not worked by all employees there but is paid nonetheless. They also are paid a tea allowance of £46. The Union claims that these allowances should be paid to the claimants as currently applied to the sorters at Donnybrook..
From 11th January, 2000 in line with the pay award to porters.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 1st June, 2001. The dispute was received in the Court on the 1st June, 2001. A Court hearing was held on the 22nd June, 2001.
3. 1. The Bank has not properly addressed the pay, role and evolving skills and expertise acquired by the claimants. There is no relationship between the sorters' jobs and porters' jobs, on whom the Bank is basing its pay offer. The claimants want pay parity with Eircom Officer 1 Grade who have a printing function, as have the claimants.
2 The Union also wants its claim in relation to overtime and retrospection implemented.
4. 1. The agreement reached with porters in October, 2000 is crucial to this claim as its settlement terms dictate the benchmark and precedent setting terms available to other groups.
2. The Bank's proposals represent an extremely favourable package and are very generous in comparison to other staff internally and externally who have settled for less than currently on offer to the claimants.
The Court has given careful consideration to the submissions of the parties to this dispute.
The Court notes that the Union's claim is for pay parity with the Eircom Officer 1 grade. No such pay relationship ever existed and the Court can see no basis on which the establishment of such a pay relationship could be justified. Moreover, the Court notes that the revised salary scale offered by the Bank is more favourable except at the three highest points of the scale claimed.
In relation to the overall offer of the Bank, which was set out in its letter to the LRC dated 28th March 2001, the Court recommends as follows:-
Having regard to all the circumstances of this case, including pay adjustments offered or agreed with other staff, the Court is firmly of the view that the Bank's offer of an 18% increase in pay in addition to PPF is fair and reasonable. The Court can see no reason as to why it should recommend that the offer be further improved upon.
Appointment of Supervisor:
The Bank's proposal on the holding of a competition to appoint a working supervisor should be accepted. It is noted that the Bank have indicated a willingness to increase the supervisory differential to 10% and this should be accepted.
The Court recommends that the Bank's offer be accepted.
Loss of Overtime:
The Court notes that the offer on compensation is in line with the existing arrangements within the Bank and is fair and reasonable. The Court can see no reason as to why those arrangements would not be adequate in the present case.
The Court recommends that the Bank's offer be accepted
The Court notes that it has not been possible for the parties to reach agreement on a change to the present pay arrangements. In these circumstances the Court recommends that the Bank should agree to leave the present arrangements in place in respect of this group. On completion of the overall AIB/SIPTU review process this issue could be reopened.
It is noted that the Bank's offer is based on paying retrospection for ten months from the date of acceptance. However in earlier correspondence to the Union an effective date of 1st June 2000 was proposed. The Court recommends that in these particular circumstances and on a without precedent basis, retrospection should apply to 1st June 2000.
Other Agreed Items:
In line with the proposal arising from conciliation, all other items agreed in local negotiations in terms of new machinery and changes to the role and duties of computer sorters should now be implemented.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th July, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.