INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Rehearing of LCR 17719.
2. On the 3rd of December, 2003 a Labour Court hearing into a dispute concerning the University's proposals to substantially reduce the overtime being done by approximately 50 security officers (SSO's) and to reduce their numbers was heard. The Court issued LCR 17719 which recommended as follows:
.......... " that discussions should take place between the parties on the proposed alterations to the Services and Security Operatives duties and attendance.
........... The Court recommends that these discussions should be completed by the end of February, 2004, with agreement on an immediate implementation date."
Overall agreement could not be reached and in May, 2004, both parties agreed to refer the outstanding unresolved issues concerning compensation for loss of overtime and staffing levels on Sundays, Christmas and during exams back to the Court in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 30th June, 2004.
3. 1. The Union have in essence accepted the University proposals of February, 2003.
2. The Union argue that the compensation formula agreed for the loss of earnings due to loss of Sunday Premium, Christmas earnings and exam attendance is easily quantifiable and should be paid upfront.
- 3. The Union members have given substantial concessions which satisfy the University's original proposals.
4. 1. The University is facing further cuts in funding and needs to implement the agreed changes immediately.
2. Management have agreed a compensation formula for the loss of earnings but cannot calculate the losses until a period of twelve months has elapsed.
3. Some operational issues remain to be clarified. The Union has indicated that it is amenable to discussions on the outstanding matters.
Following Labour Court Recommendation No:17719 a number of outstanding unresolved issues were referred back by the parties, to the Court. It is agreed that progress has since been made on some of the issues that were before the Court, at the hearing in December 2003, namely, overtime allocation system, building, and van/enterprise centre/ music department.
Management submitted detailed proposals on Security Services Officers reduced replacement /staffing levels which were appended to the 30th June 2004 Labour Court submission. Having considered the submissions of both parties on the remaining issues, the Court recommends as follows:-
It is noted that the Union accept management's non- replacement proposal affecting the O'Rahilly Building staffing levels in term (4 days per week) on condition that the staff member concerned could only be used to cover absenteeism. Having considered the matter and in particular considering the high levels of absenteeism currently prevailing, the Court recommends that management's proposals be accepted without the Union's precondition.
The Union indicated that it accepts management's proposals on exam cover with the provision that when there are in excess of 500 students for examination and the exams are being held off campus, 2 security services officers on duty should be on duty. The Court recommends that this position as outlined by the Union, should be incorporated into the proposals and accepted by both parties.
Reduced Cover on Sundays From June to September
The University sought reduced staffing levels, in lieu of contract security, on the second shift on Sundays from June to September, on the basis of one staff member in the Lee Maltings Buildings and three staff members on Campus. The Union required two on Lee Maltings Buildings and four on Campus. Management could only agree to the Union's position if it got full flexibility regarding access to the buildings, in return. As the Union required clarification on "full flexibility" the Court requested details in writing. Clarification was received by the Court on 2nd July 2004.
The Court recommends that the terms of the proposal as clarified by the letter dated 1st July 2004 addressed to the Court, and copied to the Union, should be accepted by both sides.
Christmas/New Year Roster
Management sought a suspension of the roster during this period, however, when this was totally unacceptable to the Union, it put forward a proposal on reduced staffing levels on the early shift over Christmas/New Year period with one staff member on Lee Maltings and three on Campus (in addition to the proposed reduction on the second shift in lieu of contract security). The Union required two on Lee Maltings and four on Campus.
Alternatively, Management sought access to buildings by security services officers on the basis of authorisation by way of letter from relevant Heads of Department, in return for not suspending the roster and on agreement that there would be one staff member on Lee Maltings and three on Campus. This position was clarified by the letter dated 1st July 2004.
The Court recommends that the terms of the proposal as clarified by the letter dated 1st July 2004 should be accepted by both sides.
Management confirmed that it would compensate for loss of earnings, which are not absenteeism driven. These losses may arise as a result of changes to Sunday working, Christmas/New Year arrangements and exam attendance and are to be assessed after twelve months using a formula of twice the annual loss. However , it stated that it was not possible to calculate such losses in advance. The Union sought upfront compensation payment before it would agree to the proposed changes.
In the absences of information on the losses being provided to the Court by the University, the Court recommends that an upfront payment of €4000 should be paid on acceptance of this recommendation, as part payment of the compensation due, and any remaining compensation as per the University's formula, should be paid twelve months after implementation of the changes, when the assessment is complete.
The Court's recommendation, along with management's proposals as amended and the University's letter dated 1st July 2004 should now be presented as a final package for ballot and resolution of the dispute.
The commencement date for implementation of the changes should be no later than 4 weeks from the date of this recommendation
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th July, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.