INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE, FINANCE
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Pay review of staff located in Head Office.
2. The claim concerns 104 workers employed at the Company's Head Office, Bluebell, Dublin. The Union's claim is for a 16% pay increase on behalf of these staff. The Company offered a 5% increase and sought the following off setting measures:-
1. The reduction of the existing quota of flexi-days from 24 to 12 per annum.
2. The elimination of the banking facility, whereby staff can currently use the bank located adjacent to the Head Office during core hours for personal use.
3. At present employees who are in a deficit on Flexitime can, as regulations stand, work less than a standard working day and be paid an overtime rate for doing just the standard working day. The Company has proposed that no worker in deficit on flexi hours can be paid at an overtime rate until the minus hours are cleared. The Company believes this is the norm in the market.
4. The Company sought the designation of the building as a nonsmoking building in line with best practice for health and safety. Two nominated smoking areas are to be provided, one in a designated smoking room and the other in the covered area of the car park.
The Union rejected the offer. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 6th of September, 2001. Agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 17th of September, 2001. The dispute was received in the Court on the 17th of September, 2001. A Court hearing was held on the 20th of November, 2001.
3. 1. The Company has failed to abide by its commitment to regularly review pay scales to ensure that they remain in line with scales throughout the insurance industry.
2. Rigorous analysis by the Union clearly shows that FBD salaries are at least 16% below the average salary payable in Head Office in comparator companies, yet the Company has achieved record turnover and profits in the past decade.
2. The Company offer is inadequate, in the circumstances, and is also linked to a list of off setting measures not discussed with the Union.
4. 1. The comparison of the market offered by the Union is disingenuous and is not comparing like with like. Whilst the salary figures quoted are accurate, they are not correctly linked to the appropriate role in FBD. In addition, the Union survey is low on detail, failing to comment on terms and conditions and working practices. All elements of the salary package of staff in Head Office must be included in the comparison.
2. The Company regards the claim for 16% as ludicrous, without foundation, and with no demonstration during the process to show any realistic moves on the Union's part, to arrive at a balanced and fair solution to the problem.
3. The Company's offer is fair and equitable and must be done in conjunction with some changes in work practices and basic outdated terms for the Company to justify the additional costs which it will incur.
The Court has considered the written and oral submissions of both sides to this dispute. The Court is of the view that the Company were remiss in quoting salary statistics, which included the value of the luncheon voucher and bonus payments.
The Court recommends that head office staff salaries should be increased by 5% as offered by the Company. This increase should be backdated to the 1st of July, 2001.
Furthermore, the Court recommends that the parties should enter into discussion on the payment of an additional 2% in return for the offsetting measures as outlined to the Court.
The Court recommends that a formal pay review of salaries should be undertaken in the first quarter of 2004.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th November, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.