INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HERMITAGE GOLF CLUB
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Rates of pay.
2. The Union's claim is for increased earnings for 14 bar and catering staff who are employed at Hermitage Golf Club. In July 2000 the Union requested a meeting to discuss the claimants' rates of pay and conditions of employment. Meetings were held in December 2000 and strike notice was served on the Employer, to take place on the 31st of December 2000 and the 6th of January 2001. The threat of industrial action was lifted when the Club agreed to pay the first phase of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (5.5%) to the bar staff backdated to the 1st of July 2000. The catering staff had already received the payment in July 2000.
The parties attended a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 5th of January 2001. At conciliation the Club put forward the following offer through the Industrial Relations Officer:-
Present rate (incl. PPF)Proposed rate at C/C
3 bar staff £7.38 £7.70 (+4.3%)
4 waiting staff £5.45 £5.75 (+5.5%)
1 kitchen help £4.64 £5.00 (+7.7%)
1 kitchen porter £5.28 £5.60 (+6.1%)
1 locker room attendant £5.46 £5.60 (+2.6%)
1 commis chef £4.64 £4.64 ( - )
No increase on the Chefs' rate as they were recently recruited at current market rates.
For staff with long service an extra day's holiday, to be taken at the discretion of the Club, was offered for each five years' of service.
Bar staff enjoy an extra Sunday premium of £22.29 per week, whether on duty or off duty.
In return Management sought the following productivity measures:-
1. The introduction of a swipe card system.
2. Wages to be paid directly into employee's bank account.
3. Contracts of employment to be agreed and signed by all employees.
4. No further claims above and beyond PPF.
5. Bar staff to return to normal working practices.
The Union rejected the offer and the issue was referred to the Labour Court on the 9th of January 2001 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 16th of February 2001.
3. 1. The Union is seeking a service scale in line with the Licensed Trade (where an increase of 26% was agreed in July 2000) and the abolition of the two year service requirement to join the pension scheme. It is also claiming that Sunday premium should apply to the job of Caddy Assistant and overtime rates should be payable after 39 hours.
2. The introduction of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2000 will extend trading hours by 338 hours. The extra productivity required of the claimants, combined with the fact that these hours are unsocial, warrants additional remuneration. Other employers have recognised that existing scales are no longer sufficient to attract and retain staff, and many have promoted apprentices to senior bar status in order to retain their services.
3. The cost of the minimum increase sought by the Union will be easily absorbed by the Club. Membership fees have been increased, the price of drink has increased by 5% and the price of food has increased by 12%. Every other golf club, except one, with which the Union has negotiated, has agreed to pay the rates claimed.
4. 1. The Club provides bar and catering facilities for its members. It is not a high street public house and the work demands on the staff are not comparable to those of a busy Dublin pub. In addition, the Club will not be availing of many of the additional trading hours now allowed under the Intoxicating Liquor Act.
2. The Club cannot afford to pay the rates agreed with the Licensed Vintners Association. The average age of the membership is 65 years of age. Due to the drink driving laws and the location of the Club, members consume very little drink either after a game of golf or with a meal.
3. At conciliation the Club went as far as it could financially afford, bearing in mind the restrictions to profitability. Since July 2000 the bar staff have achieved an actual 12.5% increase in wages. The 4.3% offered at conciliation would bring their increase up to 16.8%.
The Court, having considered the written and oral submissions, recommends that the offer made by the Club and proposed at the conciliation conference should now be accepted and implemented without delay. This offer was made in return for certain productivity elements which the Court recommends should be accepted by the Union.
Apart from increases in pay, the Court notes that this offer included extra annual leave in recognition of long service. The Court recommends that this should be accepted in lieu of service pay as claimed by the Union.
The Court also notes that the offer includes the payment of overtime after 39 hours per week; premium payments for Public Holidays worked and payment of a Sunday premium for Caddy Assistants.
The Court recommends that the issue of contracts of employment for all employees must be attended to immediately.
Recognising the financial difficulties encountered by the Club, the Court accepts that it is unable to meet the Union's demands at present.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
5 March, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.