INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Average overtime in holiday pay.
2. Roscommon County Council employs approximately 234 workers as outdoor staff. These employees work overtime as and when required by the different sections where they are assigned within the Council.
The Union is seeking the inclusion of overtime in the calculation of holiday pay. The Union believes that an agreement was reached with Roscommon County Council in March, 2001, and all that remained to be discussed was the finding of a formula for
calculating the average overtime and agreeing a payment date. The Council reject the assertion that an agreement was reached. It believes that it is precluded from including overtime in the calculation of holiday pay as it is excluded under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, and S.I. 475 of 1997.
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 7th June, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place in Athlone on the 15th October, 2002, the earliest date suitable to both parties.
3. 1. Agreement was reached on 5th March, 2001, to the inclusion of overtime and allowances in holiday pay. The question of a reference period remained to be worked out.
2. The Union had confirmed in writing the agreement of the 5th March to the Council. The Council has not challenged the minutes of the meeting of 5th March, 2001.
4. 1. The payment of overtime is excluded from holiday pay under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 and S.I. No. 475 of 1997.
2. The requirement to work overtime is part and parcel of the conditions of employment, as the nature of the work involved requires overtime to be worked.
3. The Council reject the ascertion that an agreement was reached.
4. The claim is cost-increasing and is therefore precluded under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
The Court notes the Employer's argument that overtime is specifically excluded for Holiday Pay as defined in the Working Time Act 1997 and S.I. 475 of 1997.
However, the Union's case is that its claim for overtime payments was conceded by the Management but that this decision was subsequently reversed.
The Court having considered all the arguments made, and particularly having examined the correspondence produced by the Union is satisfied that the Union has every right to believe their claim had been conceded. The method of calculating appears from the correspondence to have been outstanding.
The Court while conscious that there may have been a misunderstanding on Management side in relation to the status of the negotiations, has been presented with no evidence that the Union's understanding of the situation was refuted despite a number of letters sent by the Union to the Management.
The Court therefore recommends that the Employer accept that an agreement was entered into and that the parties enter into discussion on how the agreement is to be applied.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th October, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Caroline Hayes, Court Secretary.