INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS' ASSOCIATION
ASSOCIATION OF ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS OF IRELAND
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. 1% revised Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF)
2. The electrical contracting industry negotiates pay rates with the Union by means of an analogue review system and does not follow the terms of the PPF or other national agreements. The Union submitted a claim for payment of the 1% lump sum as provided for in the revised Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
Management rejected the claim on the basis that they are not party to the PPF. The employers state that electricians employed by electrical contracting firms are covered under the terms of the Registered Employment Agreement (REA) negotiated by the National Joint Industrial Council for the Electrical Contracting Industry. Management state that agreement was concluded in 1997 and that rates of pay for the industry would be determined not by reference to national wage agreements but by an agreed analogue of sixteen companies.
As no agreement was possible between the parties, or the ENJIC, the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 26th November, 2002 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 7th March, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The 1% lump sum was paid to all other workers to compensate for inflation. Other employments which have analogue agreements have paid the1% lump sum and workers in the electrical contracting industry should not be disadvantaged.
2. The PPF review provided for a compensatory pay adjustment applicable in all employments and while the ENJIC analogue review at a future date would reflect the 2% element of the PPF review, the 1% lump sum would not be reflected in the analogue review, and as such the members are entitled to this increase.
3. The 1% lump sum, if applied, would not be deemed to be a wage review adjustment or alteration and would not be reflected in the hourly or weekly rates of pay for electricians. The payment is a once off lump sum payment and is not reflected in the rates of pay.
4. 1. The electricians covered by the Registered Employment Agreement (REA) are outside the terms of the PPF.
2. During the term of the analogue agreement, electricians were awarded increases of 15.1% over and above that agreed under the terms of the PPF.
3.Under the ENJIC agreement, electricians receive an increase in their pay rateon an annual basis and no further increases are applied.
4. The increase in the electricians' rate of pay in the year 2001 was 11.8% and, therefore, exceeded the rate of inflation for which the PPF amendment was designed to compensate.
The Court believes that in the absence of evidence to the contrary it is reasonable to assume that the analogue companies applied the PPF and paid the 1% lump sum on the due date.
In accordance with the spirit of Rule 25 of the ENJIC agreement the 1% lump sum should also be applied to those covered by that agreement.
Accordingly, the Court recommends that the Union's claim be conceded.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th March, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Carmel McManus, Court Secretary.