INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES BOARD)
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Claim for euro allowance.
2. The claim is for compensation for certain workers of Local Authorities for additional work/flexibility associated with the introduction of the new euro currency during the dual currency period, 1st January, 2002, to 9th February, 2002. Agreement was reached between the Union and management on compensation for staff who were required to give atypical attendance or be on call over the Christmas or New Year period. However, agreement could not be reached in relation to other staff, as management did not believe that staff should be compensated for what is considered to be part of their normal duties. Arrangements had been put in place to minimise the effect of the euro changeover.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 23rd of May, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 23rd of July, 2002, the earliest date suitable to both parties.
3. 1. Very little preparatory work was done prior to the introduction of the euro.
2. Some workers were handling mixtures of currencies which meant extra time on peoples doorsteps, with the worker involved in recalculations and explanations to justify the amount being collected.
3. Lodgements had to be made up separately, with separate queues in some of the banks for new/old currency.
4. Lodgements had to be made more frequently because of the weight of the coinage involved.
5. Additional mileage due to the changeover was not reflected.
4. 1. The Union have not substantiated their claim that significant additional work was involved during the euro changeover dual currency period.
2. Following a survey by the Board of all local authorities on the issue, no difficulty was reported during that period.
3. Adequate preparation including training programmes were in place.
4. Additional work was minimal and does not merit any compensatory payment.
5. The Euro Changeover Board of Ireland confirmed that the changeover had gone smoothly.
6. The introduction of the new currency is part of ongoing change agreed to and paid for under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
7. The Union agreed not to submit cost increasing claims under Paragraph 11 of the PPF other than those provided for in Clause 3 and 5 of the agreement.
8. Similar claims have already been before the Labour Court and have been rejected.
The Court has carefully considered the submissions of the parties. Having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the Court does not accept that the inconvenience suffered by the claimants in the euro changeover was of such an exceptional degree as to warrant the payment of compensation.
Accordingly, the Court does not recommend concession of the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th July, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Caroline Hayes, Court Secretary.