INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
PFIZER IRELAND PHARMACEUTICALS
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. PPF Pay Round.
2. The Union represents over 100 Laboratory Analysts between the 3 Pfizer substance plants in Cork, i.e. Ringaskiddy, Loughbeg and Little Island. The Union claims that, following the Company's decision to acquire Warner Lambert, the Company wishes to harmonise pay and conditions across the 3 sites. The Union believed that the Laboratory Analysts were operating in an enhanced role and sought a review of their work, which became known as the T3 review. Following the review, however, management insisted that any enhancement of pay would be dependent on performance related progression (PRP) which, the Union claims, was unfair. In July, 2001, the Union made the following claim:
- One universal scale for all Laboratory Analysts. The appropriate scale being the T3 Shift Scale (pre Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF) range)
- Seven points on the pay scale for Laboratory Analysts based on the existing service
- PPF: 10% onto the T3 Shift scale
- Management should also address the 10% pay hike through the enhanced T3 role in line with the Plant Shift Leader enhanced role.
Management rejected the proposal and the issue was referred to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC). At the second of 2 conciliation conferences, the following proposal was put:
That the parties agree to the following pay increases in settlement of the PPF pay round:
Basic Pay Increase Effective Date
8.50% 1st April, 2000 1st August, 2000
8.5% 1st April, 2001 1st June, 2001
8.65% 1st April, 2002 1st April, 2002
1% lump sum 1st April, 2002 1st April, 2002
- The Trade Union side to confirm its acceptance of the Company's proposals.
- That the parties agree to consolidation of shift for overtime calculation purposes in Ringaskiddy with effect from April, 2000.
- This proposal to be in full and final settlement of all issues in dispute.
If accepted, these proposals would mean a cumulative increase of 27.9% over the course of the Agreement, plus a 1% lump sum.
The Union rejected the proposal and 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 2nd of October, 2002, in Cork.
3. 1. The Company's intention was to fundamentally change the existing pay structure for the Laboratory Analysts. No other group was asked to change its pay structure.
2. The workers believe that over a number of years there has been a significant enhancement to the role of the Laboratory Analysts (details supplied to the Court).
3. The Company has negotiated with other groups on enhanced roles e.g. plant shift leaders, craft grades and general operatives, and has rewarded them financially. The Laboratory Analysts are simply looking to be treated in the same way.
4. 1. The workers have been offered major pay increases over and above the PPF but they have rejected the offer.
2. The Union's claim threatens the very principle of cost stabilisation as provided for in Clause 11 of the PPF.
3. The claim is seeking to affirm that there is a fixed pay relativity between Laboratory Technicians/Analysts and Foremen. There has never been a pay relativity between the 2 groups.
4. The claim, if it were to be conceded, would have serious implications for the Company which is already facing strong competition from other Pfizer plants e.g. Puerto Rico and Signapore.
The Court has given consideration to the issues in dispute in this case. The Court understands that the Union would have taken the view that the changes in work practice of the Laboratory Technicians/Analysts as identified by Review T3 are not being reflected in the Company's proposals. However, a misunderstanding as to the purpose of the review seems to have occured between the parties. The Court is of the view that the Company should have made its position clear at an earlier point when the review was being initiated.
The Court notes this Company has historically paid increases over and above the national norm, and that such increases compensate for any changes in work practices which have occurred in the past.
However, the Court is satisfied that there was no evidence to show that any other group in the Company received pay increases over and above the enhanced PPF increases now being offered to the claimants.
The Court, therefore, recommends acceptance of the proposals which emanated at the LRC, which included a cumulative 27.9% increase in pay plus a lump sum of 1% and also includes benefits to other terms and conditions of employment.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st October, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.