INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND - GALWAY
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Increase to 'cash handling' allowance paid to sports attendants.
2. The dispute concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of it's members who are employed as Sports Attendants by the University, for an increase in a cash handling allowance. An agreement was reached in 1997 whereby the members would receive an allowance in return for handling cash, which was outside of their job specifications. The allowance was set at a weekly rate equivalent to the top rate of the driving allowance. The driving allowance was increased as a result of a Labour Court Recommendation No.17248 in May 2001. The Union are seeking the application of the increase made to the driving allowance paid to others in the University to bring the cash handling allowance back into line with the top rate of the driving allowance as per the agreement between the Union and the College. The agreement also had a review mechanism, this was to cover operations in the Sports Attendants area and would also have examined the payment of the allowance. This review has not been implemented to date due to heavy pressure of work.
- The dispute could not be resolved at local level and 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 the19th December, 2003,in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 19th May, 2004, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
4. 1.It is unreasonable for the University to withhold payment of the agreed increase in the cash handling allowance because it has failed to conduct a review as per the agreement of 1997.
2. The Union are seeking that the allowance be brought back into line with the top rate of driving allowance with effect from May 2001. The University should then proceed to conduct a review.
3. 1.When the 1997 agreement was introduced it was on the basis of a review to take place in 2003. On completion of this review the University would then discuss their findings with the staff and their Union. Until then the University is not in a position to consider the merits of any claim for an increase. It is the University's intention to complete this review as soon as possible.
2. The University does not accept that parity exists between the driving allowance and the cash handling allowance.
The Court is satisfied that the claimants were given an allowance "for cash handling at a weekly rate equivalent to the top rate of the driving allowance"in 1997 and this was maintained up to the agreement reached by the University and the drivers in 2001.
This agreement was endorsed by the Court who suggested, "the parties should examine the College's long term requirements for driving services and consider how greater efficiencies could be introduced leading to a reduction in the numbers required".
The Court, having considered the information before it recommends that the claim of the Sports Attendants should be conceded on a similar basis.
The Court, therefore, recommends that the allowance for the claimants be brought into line with the top rate of the driving allowance in accordance with the 1997 agreement. The Court does not believe that the claimants should be penalised because the University failed to conduct the review it previously proposed.
The Court, therefore, recommends that the adjustment in the allowance should date from May 2001 subject to acceptance of the following:-
- Agreement to a review of the University's long-term requirements for sports services and consideration of how greater efficiencies could be introduced leading to a possible reduction in the numbers required.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
31st May, 2004______________________
J O'C/BRDeputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.