INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Introduction of "dirty money allowance".
2. The Union is seeking the payment of "dirty money allowance" on behalf of fourteen of its members employed as ground staff by the College. It claims that its members employed at University College Dublin doing similar work are in receipt of this allowance.
Management rejected the Union's claim. It stated that the cleaning duties of the workers concerned did not warrant payment of the allowance. This work is part of their normal duties.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 29th January, 2002, but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 18th July, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
The Court investigated the dispute on the 5th November, 2002, (the earliest date suitable to the parties).
3. 1. The ground staff in U.C.D. are in receipt of this allowance.
2. The precedent for paying the allowance is already in place in the Buildings Office of Trinity College for certain duties.
3. Concession of the claim would not be a major cost factor for the College.
4. Management has had the benefit of not having paid the allowance for many years while the staff provided the service unaware of their entitlement.
4. 1. The allowance claimed was intended to apply only to specific circumstances and such circumstances do not arise for grounds staff. These workers are not required to work in sewers or on boilers.
2. Concession of the claim would result in knock-on claims from other staff on cleaning duties.
3. The allowance is only paid to staff in the Buildings Office where there is agreement on defined work.
4. The claim is cost increasing and is therefore precluded under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
5. The Department of Education and Science has indicated that issues relating to pay rates of general operative staff will be addressed in the Parallel Benchmarking excerise.
Having considered the submissions of both parties, the Court is of the view that there is no basis for the introduction of "dirty money allowance" to grounds staff. The Court considers that the duties outlined to the Court for the payment of the allowance are part of their normal cleaning duties and do not come within the range of duties which normally attract such payments within the College. Accordingly, the Court does not recommend concession of the claim.
However, the Court recommends that if additional equipment/safety gear is required for specific cleaning tasks, in order to make the tasks less hazardous and more efficient, then the College should provide such equipment/gear.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th November, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.