INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ST. PATRICKS COLLEGE / NUI MAYNOOTH
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Claim for the introduction of allowances and improved annual leave.
2. The dispute concerns workers employed in the general services grades. An agreement negotiated between the parties in 1992 provides for parity of basic pay rates between St. Patrick's College /NUI Maynooth and UCD. Because maintenance staff in UCD receive various allowances there is a difference in their earnings compared to the claimants who are employed at Maynooth. The Union has submitted the following claims:
1. Annual Leave. An increase from 20 days to 31 days per year in respect of 42 workers in the general services area.
2. Travelling Time This involves workers from maintenance, groundsmen and drivers. The claim is for one hour's per day.
3.Driving allowance. The extension of a driving allowance €39.61 per week to other relevant workers.
4.Dirty Money allowance. This claim involves five workers from general maintenance. The Union is claiming €9.30 per day.
Management rejected the claims. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. On the 8th September, 2003 the dispute was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held on the 19th November, 2003.
1..Annual Leave.The very substantial gap between the annual leave entitlements that exists between the claimants and their colleagues in UCD is unjustified and unfair and must be addressed.
2.Travelling Time.The Union does not accept that travelling time was bought out by a nominal lump sum of £80 in 1992. The disparity between the claimants and their colleagues in UCD continues. This was recently highlighted when the allowance was conceded to a colleague craft worker in the College (LCR16848 refers).
3.Driving Allowance.The driving allowance is paid to drivers in Maynooth and UCD. In UCD, however, those who drive less frequently are also paid the allowance when required to drive. This is not the practice in Maynooth. The purpose of providing transport was clearly to speed up work to enhance productivity. The claimants should share in the additional benefits secured by their cooperation and skill, through the payment of this allowance.
4.Dirty Money allowance.A full weekly allowance should be paid to workers required to carry out this type of work in line with the practice in UCD.
5. The claimants have a parity agreement with workers in UCD. This agreement has not been implemented in respect of allowances claimed, in spite of the fact that these allowances form part of the basic pay for those in receipt of them. This has been acknowledged by the Court in LCR 16848.
4. 1.Annual Leave.General operatives are currently in receipt of 20 days annual leave. Some staff can accrue an additional six working days annual leave by working an additional hour's work over and above the 39 hour week. The Employer has offered three additional days annual leave on the proviso that this can be achieved without additional cost to the College.
2.Travelling Time.Agreement was reached with the Union for a buy out of the claim in 1992. Each of the staff members involved was paid a once-off lump sum of £80. The re-introduction of a claim for an allowance, where it has already been bought out, would set a precedent that could be used elsewhere in the HEA Sector and the broader Public Service to re-open similar claims.
3.Driving Allowance.The driving allowance of €39.61 is currently paid to staff whose primary function in the College is driving. The staff involved in this claim are not dedicated drivers; they are involved in occasional driving for purposes of personal convenience and efficiency. The Employer has offered to pay for the cost of driving licences if required. Any efficiency deriving to the College has been adequately catered for by the provisions of National Agreements and special agreements that have applied to staff in these categories in recent years.
4.Dirty Money allowance.The College does not consider that there is merit in this claim. If additional equipment/safety gear is reasonably required for specific dirty work, the College is willing to provide such gear/equipment. The Employer has offered to pay one hour at flat rate to workers who are required to clean up at the end of their shift.
5. The claims by the Union are made on the basis of a comparison with conditions applying in UCD, in the context of a comprehensive agreement reached in 1992. The parity arrangement applies to basic pay only and not to other conditions of employment. The parity claims made by the Union in this case all refer to issues other than basic pay.
6. The claims are cost-increasing and precluded under the P.P.F. and S.P. Agreements.
The Court has considered the submissions by both parties to the issues in dispute. Based on the information supplied, the Court is satisfied that parity between UCD and St. Patrick's Maynooth exists for basic pay purposes only and cannot be interpreted as applying to other terms such as those claimed in this case. The Court recommends as follows:-
The Court recommends that the employer's offer to increase annual leave by three days should be accepted by the Union.
Travel Time Allowance
The Union sought the introduction of travel time allowance of one hour per day as applied to similar workers in UCD. In holding that parity does not exist within UCD for such payments and in accepting that this claim was bought out in 1992 based on a once off payment to each staff member involved, the Court is of the view that there is no merit in the claim and rejects it.
Information concerning one craftperson/chargehand was brought to the attention of the Court in respect to the non payment of travel time, the Court accepts that an anomaly exists in this case and recommends that this anomaly should be addressed on a personal to holder basis.
While a driving allowance is paid to certain workers on a personal to holder basis, the Court sees no merit in extending this allowance to other workers required to drive 'company vehicles' and rejects the claim. The Court notes the employer's offer to pay for the cost of driving licences and recommends that this offer should be accepted in settlement of this claim.
The Court notes the employer's offer to pay one hour flat rate payment to those workers required to carry out specific tasks which involve dirty working conditions where they are required to clean up at the end of their working shift. The Court recommends that the parties should agree on a list of tasks and personnel who would qualify for this payment.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
5th December, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.