INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
SOLA ADC LENSES
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Re-hearing arising from LCR16628.
2. The Company manufactures spectacle lenses at Wexford and employs approximately 400 people. In 1999, the majority of craft workers joined SIPTU and the Union approached the Company seeking a new pay structure for them. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court and LCR16628 issued in October, 2000. In it, the Court recommended that the parties get together to discuss, and possibly revise, all terms and conditions. The process was to be completed by 31st January, 2001, and any outstanding issues could be referred back to the Court.
The Union served a formal pay claim in July, 2001, for a craft and multi-skilled craft rate, but claims that the Company would not negotiate for a group rate, instead insisting on individual assessment. The salary grade is split into 5 x 5% increments from 90% to 110%. All craft workers are currently on 100% or 105%, 4 are multi-skilled and the remaining 6 are in training. Multi-skilled training began in January, 2002. The Union is seeking the following pay scales, based on years of service or experience:-
A 5-point scale for craft workers ranging from €27,934 to €33,013, and a 5-point scale for multi-skilled workers from €34,283 to €39,362.
In September, 2001, the Company made a final offer as follows: basic pay at 100% of the grade would pay €27,722 (£21,833) for craft workers and €29,068 (£22,893) for multi-skilled workers.
As the parties could not reach agreement, the dispute was referred back to the Court on the 7th of January,2002. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 5th of March, 2002, in Wexford.
3. 1. The craft rate should reflect the high level of multi-skilling which now exists in the Company. The present rates do not reflect craft rates in similar large companies.
2. Since LCR16628 issued no craftworker has moved on the existing Company "scale". It is not clear how a person can achieve 110% of the scale.
4. 1. There are differences in conditions of employment between staff and hourly paid employees in the Company. The craft group combines favourable aspect of both categories e.g. they are the only group in the Company paid overtime and sick pay.
2. Craft workers are well rewarded compared to regional and local benchmarks. The Company has offered a generous remuneration package in return for multi-skilling.
In the Court's view, in order for the present arrangements to operate effectively, it is necessary to have in place a system of personal assessment which is transparent and, as far as possible, based on objective criteria. It is clear that in the Union's perception the present arrangements do not meet that standard.
Method of Assessment.
The Company should, in consultation with the Union, put in place an assessment system which conforms to the following general principles:-
1. The purpose of assessment should be to encourage and reward improvements in levels of performance.
2. The criteria against which assessment will be carried out should be determined in advance and made known to all employees concerned.
3. Assessment should take place annually.
4. Each employee affected should receive the result of their assessment.
5. An internal appeal procedure should be available in cases of grievance.
The 90% and 95% points on the present pay range should be regarded as introductory rates.
The Multi-Skilled rate should be increased by a further €1,300, at each point of the pay band, beyond the Company's offer.
With these modifications, the Company's final offer should be accepted.
The Court further recommends that the system should be reviewed after a period of three years.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th March, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.