INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TIPPERARY NORTH COUNTY COUNCIL
(REPRESENTED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES BOARD)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. 1. Disturbance payment 2. Travel time 3. Review of mileage rates. 4. Senior Overseer Rate.
2. Traditionally four engineering areas existed within Tipperary North County Council. In 2002 a decision was taken to realign the four engineering areas to coincide with the four Electoral Areas. The Union agreed to implement these changes with effect from March, 2003 on the basis that there would be meaningful negotiations on Disturbance Payments, Travel Time, and a review of Mileage Rates. The Union's claims on behalf of 20 General Operatives and 3 General Service Supervisors are quantified as follows:
1. Disturbance Payment - The Union's claim is for the payment of €2,000 per worker to those affected.
2. Travel Time - The Union is seeking 45 minutes each way per day travel time for the workers affected.
3.Review of Mileage Rates - The Union is seeking a review of existing travel allowance for the general operative grade as follows:
0-4 miles €7.00 per day
4-8 miles €9.00 per day
8-12 miles €11.00 per day
12-16 miles €12. 00 per day
16 -20 plus miles €15. 00 per day.
The Union, on behalf of three General Service Supervisors, is also seeking increased personal monthly mileage ceilings( presently ranging from 750 to 860 miles per month).
4. An incremental increase of €56 to the Senior Overseers' rate.
Management rejected the claims. The dispute was referred the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. The dispute was refereed to the Labour Court in October, 2003 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held in Thurles on the 10th February, 2004.
3. 1.Disturbance payment.The disturbance payment claim of €2,000 is justified on the basis of the inconvenience to workers of now having to leave earlier for work and finish later than heretofore.
2.Travel time.The 45 minutes travel time is made on the basis that some workers will be called upon to travel to locations not travelled to prior to the implementation of the re-alignment proposals.
3.Mileage allowance.The present mileage rates need to be increased as they are insufficient to cover the claimants under the new arrangements.
4.Senior Overseer Rate.The claim is made on the basis of the increased duties and responsibilities of the workers concerned.
4. 1.Disturbance payment. The Union signed up to the Local Authority modernisation process in the PPF and SP Agreements under which the claimants have already been paid for cooperation with this change. The Union has failed to justify its claim for such a large amount.
2.Travel time.The Union's claim in respect of travel time would be additional to any increase arising from the Parallel Benchmarking exercise, which has proposed increases in the region of 17% for these grades. For the vast majority of staff the new arrangements have had little or no impact.
3.Mileage allowance.The current mileage allowance was negotiated in 2002. These rates are more than adequate to cover the expenses currently incurred by the claimants and there is no basis for an increase.
4.Senior Overseer Rate.The duties and responsibilities of the claimants have not increased. The Council rejects the claim.
On the basis of a realignment of the four engineering areas of the County Council with the four electoral areas, the Union submitted a number of claims. Having considered the submissions of both parties the Court recommends as follows:
The Court is not satisfied that the claimants are affected to such a significant extent as to warrant the payment of a disturbance payment and accordingly rejects this claim.
Travel time is not a feature of terms and conditions of employment for those operating outside of the four Local Authorities in the Dublin Region and accordingly does not recommend concession of this claim.
Review of Mileage Rates:
The Court is not satisfied that the review of mileage rates as sought by the Union is justified in the context of this realignment. However, as it is maintained that travelling distance are increasing as a result of the changes, the Court recommends the introduction of a mileage rate for travel in excess of 14 miles
Upgrading of Supervisors to Senior Overseer Rate:
The Court is not satisfied that there is merit in this claim and does not recommend concession of this claim at this time.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd February, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.