INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CABLE & WIRELESS
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE, FINANCE
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Payment in respect of new comprehensive agreement.
2. The Company is a multinational Company with a staff of 14,000 employees world-wide. The Company is one of the top 10 communication companies supplying voice and data connections throughout the world. In Ireland, the Company has a staff of approximately 250. The business consists of sales and installations and maintenance of PABX, data, key systems and auxiliary equipment. The MSF Trade Union represents 80 staff members across technical, administrative, clerical and stores.
Following months of local negotiations and six conciliation conferences, the Company and the Union side agreed a comprehensive agreement which was acceptable to both sides. The only outstanding issue is compensation payment for the introduction of the new agreement. The Union is seeking 9% in respect of all staff. The Company has offered 4% and stipulated that it apply only to technical grades. The Company stated that it could not move beyond this point.
As the parties could not reach agreement the issue was referred to the Labour Court on the 14th November 2000 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 15th February 2001, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. Technicians, administrative and clerical and stores personnel employed by the Company are paid less than the going rate in the industry.
2. The Union believes that its proposals for changes in the comprehensive agreement warrant a 9% increase. As this comprehensive agreement covers all categories i.e. technical, administrative, clerical and stores the percentage claim should also apply to all.
3. The Union is seeking the incorporation of the structural changes and the new promotional positions.
4. 1. New terms and conditions of employment offer staff opportunity to earn increases over and above national increases on a merit basis instead of an incremental scale.
2. In essence the Union sought to cherry pick the best aspects of the new terms and conditions without offering the flexibilities required of staff who had voluntarily signed up.
3. If the Company were to extend the increase outside the specific grades, it would have a knock on effect throughout the Company. To apply even a 4% increase to all employees would amount to an increase of £310,000 on basic salary alone.
4. The offer was rejected by a small majority. The other Union involved has already accepted the offer in respect of the same grades.
The Court notes that the claims now before the Court (the rate of increase in consideration of a new agreement and the scope of that increase) are the only outstanding issues preventing final agreement on a new comprehensive agreement which has been the subject of protracted negotiations locally and at conciliation. It is further noted that the parties have agreed in advance to be bound by the recommendation of the Court.
On the basis that all issues in relation to the new agreement will be resolved by this recommendation, the Court recommends that the company increase its pay offer to 5% and that this increase be extended to administrative, clerical and stores personnel.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
2nd March, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.