INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Loss of overtime.
2. The dispute concerns two farm staff in Mellowes College in Athenry who had been assigned to the piggery in the College. The Union is claiming compensation for loss of overtime earnings arising from the closure of the piggery and the reassignment of the two workers to other farm duties. Management rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 6th May, 2004 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held in Galway on the 16th June, 2004.
3. 1. The claimants have suffered a very substantial loss with the elimination of overtime. It was a necessary part of their job in the piggery which they willingly carried out on a regular rostered basis during unsocial hours. The loss of overtime represents a 40% reduction in their overall household income and has placed the two claimants under severe financial pressure.
2. Unlike other employees in Teagasc who suffered a 25% reduction in overtime as part of a series of cost cutting measures implemented at national level, the two claimants suffered a 100% loss in overtime.
3. The Union's claim for twice the annual loss is reasonable given the severe circumstances of the case and the precedent that was established in Teagasc in 1997 (LCR 15506 refers).
4. 1.The Authority has sustained very significant losses and has been forced to implement a drastic programme of measures to reduce costs, including the closure of the piggery at Mellowes College.
2. Management recognises the reduction in earnings of the claimants. The Authority is prepared to give preferential treatment to the claimants in respect of additional opportunities for overtime that may arise in Mellowes farm.
3. Reductions in overtime were not deemed to warrant the award of compensation in previous cases which were the subject of Labour Court investigation and recommendation (LCR'S 13977, 15048, AND 17848 refer).
The Court has considered the submissions put forward by the parties and noted the measures already taken by Teagasc to alleviate its financial position (with particular reference to the reduction by 25% in overtime throughout the Company).
It is the view of the Court that each of the claimants in this case should be paid a sum of €10,000 with immediate effect and a further €10,000 on the 1st January, 2005 in full and final settlement of their claim for the loss of long-standing regular and rostered overtime.
The Court recommends accordingly.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th June, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.