INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CORK OPERA HOUSE
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Pay Increase.
2. The Union's claim, on behalf of theatre staff, is for a pay increase of €2 per hour in basic pay. The Company rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. In September, 2002, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission, in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held in Cork on the 26th March, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1.The claimants have afforded substantial levels of productivity and flexibility throughout all levels of the employment.
2.The pay rates obtaining in the employment are very low and are just above the minimum wage rate.
3.The significant losses accrued by the Company are attributable in part to a poor Management decision in relation to the Central Box Office System. This is not the fault of workers who are forced to forego a liveable wage because of a Management decision.
4.Presently there are no bonus or sick pay schemes in operation.
4. 1.While Management had indicated to the Union its willingness to negotiate on rates of pay in return for productivity improvements and organisational change, the Company is not now in a position to do so because of its deteriorating financial situation.
2.The funding for the Arts through the Arts Council has been reduced making it more difficult for the Company to operate its programme of events and maintain employment opportunities for staff.
3.The Company will be required to review its five year plan, in the light of the present financial situation, and intends to enter discussions with the Union at an early date.
4.The claim is precluded under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
The Court finds the Union's claim in this case to be prohibited under the terms of the P.P.F.
However the Court notes the commitment of Management to endeavour to address the Union's concerns in relation to the level of pay operating in the Company, in return for acceptance of the necessary business and operating changes required to maintain the operation.
The Court, on that basis, recommends that the parties enter into immediate discussions on the Company's business plan with a view to addressing both parties' concerns.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th April, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.