INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
DUBLIN HOTELS' BRANCH
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. 1% lump sum under revised Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
2. The Union is seeking that the 1% lump sum payable under the amendment to the PPF should apply to consolidated earnings i.e. basic pay. plus service charge earnings. To date, the Hotels' Branch has only applied the payment to basic pay and it rejects the claim.
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 17th of July, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17th of October, 2002, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
UNION'S ARGUMENTS :
3. 1. The service charge system is unique in the industry, and forms a substantive element of the remuneration of the workers.
2. Basic pay is very low and in some cases is less than the minimum wage.
3. The once-off lump sum is the first time such an arrangement has applied. While the National Implementation Body (NIB) states that the implementation of the agreement applies to basic pay, it does not take account of the unique arrangement of service pay in the Dublin Hotels.
BRANCH'S ARGUMENTS :
4. 1. The NIB, in its statement of March, 2002, states that the agreement"is to be interpreted as applying to annual basic pay on the 1st April, 2002."
2. The Union is seeking an arrangement that is above and beyond the terms of the agreement. The claim is cost increasing and in breach of the terms of the PPF.
3. Apart from pensions, service charge has never been consolidated in basic pay for overtime, Sunday premiums etc. Concession of the claim would set a dangerous precedent.
In considering the Union's claim, the Court has had regard to the statement issued by the National Implementation Body dated 6th March, 2002. The Court has also had regard to the manner in which all previous wage round increases have been calculated and applied in the sector.
Having regard to these considerations, the lump sum in question should be calculated on basic pay and not in the manner claimed by the Union.
The Court notes that in some cases the basic pay element of overall pay is below the national minimum rate. The Court recommends that where this is the case, the basic rate should be deemed to be the national minimum rate for the purpose of calculating the lump-sum.
The Court makes this recommendation on the basis of a strict acceptance by all parties that this arrangement is to apply only in respect of the lump sum. It should be further accepted that it is not intended to alter the traditional method of applying centrally negotiated pay increases, and will not be relied upon or quoted to support any claim to bring about any such alteration in the future.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th November, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.