INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
NATIONAL BUS AND RAIL UNION (NBRU)
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION (SIPTU)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Compensation for euro changeover.
2. The claim for compensation is on behalf of 1,130 full-time drivers, and is for the additional workload linked with the introduction of the new Euro currency from 1st of January, 2002. The claim is for a once-off payment of €2,539.
The NBRU first made its claim in August, 2001. The Company replied in September, 2001, stating that a training programme would be in place to deal with any problems. In October, the Company offered an allowance of €152.37 to drivers who completed the training programme, and in November offered an extra 5 minutes marginal time per day. However, the Unions rejected the offer. 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 6th of March, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 23rd of April, 2002.
3. 1. Bus drivers were the first people in the country to have to deal with the new currency. Their co-operation was paramount to the efficient transition period.
2. The drivers encountered major problems with people who were not familiar with the Euro, particularly in the first 2 weeks (details supplied to the Court.)
3. The Company issued a cash dispenser which had only 7 cylinders for 8 different coin denominations. This caused further problems for the drivers.
4. The training programme introduced by the Company fell short of what was needed. Drivers found the initial weeks of the changeover even more stressful than usual.
4. 1. The Company had no choice in the changeover to the Euro. It was of no benefit to the Company.
2. The Company offered a familiarisation allowance of €152.37 to each driver on completion of the training programme. This money was paid although many drivers did not actually attend the programme.
3. The Company also offered an additional 5 minutes' marginal time per day to cover the additional work for the first 6 weeks of the year. This equated to 25 minutes' overtime per week.
4. The additional work for the drivers was minor and does not merit any compensatory payment.
5. The PPF calls for continued co-operation in the area of change and flexibility to maintain and improve competitiveness.
Having considered all aspects of this claim, the Court notes that, in agreement with the Unions, the Company took the following action to deal with the changeover to Euro:-
- provision of training/competency workshop.
- payment of €152.37 familiarisation and dual currency handling allowance, and
- provision of an extra 5 minutes marginal time for the transition period - it is reported by the Company that between 90% and 95% of drivers availed of this payment.
The Court is of the view that the actions taken by the Company at this time were fair and reasonable and, therefore, does not recommend concession of the Unions' claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th May, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.