INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
NATIONAL BUS & RAIL UNION
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Improved rates of pay.
2. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, CIE Tours were expierencing financial difficulties. Tour bus drivers agreed to accept a temporary reduction in pay rates, to enable the Companys survival and return to profitable earnings.
Bus Eireann also became a supplier of coaches to CIE Tours, relieving them of ownership and replacement and maintenance costs. Due to a reduction in business for CIE Tours in 2002, the number of coaches allocated to tour business was reduced.
The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by two Unions on behalf of Tour bus drivers, for restoration of the original agreed methods of payment in line with regular drivers and to increase the allocation of buses to CIE Tours.
The Company rejects the claim.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level an was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 17th of July, 2003, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 16th October 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3.1. The Unions maintain that the reduction in pay rates by tour drivers was a temporary arrangement, and should now be increased in line with regular drivers.
2. The Unions request that the number of coaches allocated to tour business should be increased, to prevent an increase in private operators gaining tour business, this they maintain puts Union members jobs at risk.
4.1 In 2001 daily rate for tour drivers was increased by 17% above agreed rates. The Company has incurred losses and costs have to be controlled on an on-going basis.
2. The Company has to remain competitive in order to secure work from CIE Tours as it is now part of a tendering process. The Company is also responsible for purchasing and maintaining Tours coaches, thus bearing all costs associated with them.
The Court has given careful consideration to the submissions provided by all the parties and notes the competitive nature of the tours business and the necessity therefore to maintain a cost competitive wage structure.
The Court also notes the employee's recognition of this position in having accepted a lower basic rate in the past.
The Court considers it would now be appropriate and fair to carry out a revision to the present basic rate by the application of the various National Pay Awards to the originally agreed lower basic rate and also taking into account the 17% increase applied and agreed in May 2001.
The Court does not consider the issue of the number of coaches designated to tours work as a relevant industrial relations matter for adjudication, essentially it is a commercial and operational matter on which management must take decisions, and is not a matter for the Court's recommendation.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th October 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jo O'Connor, Court Secretary.