INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
NATIONAL COLLEGE OF IRELAND
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. (1) 2% due under Partnership 2000. (2) Relocation.
2. The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of its members in relation to;
(a) Payment of 2% due under Partnership 2000 and (b) Relocation to the new Docklands campus.
(a) Payment of 2% due under Partnership 2000
The Union is seeking immediate payment of the 2% with retrospection to the 1st of July, 1999. The College believes that it would be irresponsible to settle the claim for the 2%without agreement on the relocation issue.
The Union maintains that the move to the new campus will have a significant impact on all staff and they are entitled to a reasonable and appropriate compensation package. The College has made three offers all of which were rejected by the Union.
- The dispute could not be resolved and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, 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.
3. 1. All phases of Partnership 2000 have been paid across the Higher Education sector. The National College of Ireland is the only employer who has failed to fulfil the terms of the agreement.
2. The 2% due should be paid immediately with retrospection to the 1st of July, 1999.
3. The move to the Docklands has a significant impact on all staff, including the additional work associated with the move and the extra cost imposed on them due to the lack of car parking facilities which was available free for all staff in the present location.
4. The workers concerned have co-operated in every way with the preparation for the move, therefore, they are entitled to a reasonable and appropriate compensation package.
4. 1. The relocation to the Docklands is essential for the future survival of the College.
2. The College has made every effort to resolve the issues in dispute. It has made three offers all of which were rejected by the Union.
3. The final offer made by the College to implement the 2% in May, 2002 with 50% retrospection in May, 2002, and 50% in September, 2002 and three years public transport passed or the cash equivalent was a fair and reasonable offer and should have been accepted by the Union.
It is clear that all parties are fully committed to the process of relocation to the new campus at Dublin Dockland. The new facility will bring long term improvements in the
working environment of staff and will enhance the standing of the College and the range of educational and other facilities which it can provide to its student body. It is clearly imperative that the relocation proceeds smoothly, on time and with the positive co-operation of all staff. With that in view, the Court recommends that the current impasse be resolved on the following basis.
The Court recommends that the 2% due under Partnership 2000 should now be paid with full retrospection.
It is clear that the lack of car-parking facilities is of major concern to staff. It is equally clear that reasonable expectations that such facilities would be available were created in the initial briefings on the proposed development provided by management. Nonetheless, it must be accepted that the provision of car-parking in this locality, on the scale originally envisaged, is not practicable and is unlikely to be so into the future. Hence, the reality is that both staff and students will be dependent on public transport as the primary mode of travelling to and from the College.
Against the background, the approach of the College in proposing a solution around the provision of annual bus/rail and DART passes is appropriate. However, the Court recommends that the offer be extended to year 4 (2005 - 2006) on the same basis as proposed for years 1, 2 and 3 (i.e that staff may opt for a taxable cash sum equivalent in any year).
Staff who are provided with and use a free car-parking space should not be entitled to a transport pass or its cash equivalent for any period in which the space is available.
In addition, a payment of €1,000 should be made to all staff in full settlement of all claims arising from other aspects of the relocation. This payment should be made in two phases - €500 on acceptance of the recommendation and a further €500 in December, 2002.
On the basis of the above, the staff should agree to fully co-operate with the relocation within the time frame envisaged.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th July, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.