INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
BAUSCH & LOMB
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. 1. Joint job evaluation scheme 2. Facilities for trade union business.
2. The Company employs approximately 1,700 people at its manufacturing plant in Waterford and is mainly involved in the production of contact lenses. Workers are paid on a graded structure 1- 4, grade 4 being the senior grade. There are two issues involved - job evaluation and trade union facilities.
(1) Job evaluation: The Union's case is that a joint job evaluation scheme which was put aside in 1993 has been replaced without agreement with a management assessment scheme. As a result, grade 3 is the highest grade an operator can achieve through job evaluation.
(2) Trade Union facilities: The Union is seeking to have a fully - equipped office to enable officials to carry on trade union business.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 29th of April, 2004, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th of September, 2004, in Waterford.
3. 1.Job evaluation: There was no agreement to replace the joint job evaluation scheme with management assessment. It was temporarily set aside in 1994 to allow other discussions to take place in relation to pay design.
2. The Union would not agree to a scheme which effectively barred grade 3 operative from attaining a higher grade through job evaluation.
3.Trade Union facilities:Despite the heavy workload of its representatives, the Union does not have a room to meet with members who have a grievance, disciplinary hearing or in some cases personal issues may require sensitive handling.
4. 1.Job evaluation scheme: The scheme was closed in 1994. Over a period of time it had become 'political', divisive and costly as a process. It was replaced by a system of management assessment.
2. The rates of pay as well as the overall benefits package are recognised as the best in the South East. Employees are rewarded for change by the terms of the National Agreements.
3.Trade Union facilities:The facilities offered to the Union are reasonable and adequate (details supplied to the Court) and are more extensive than in most other companies.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court recommends as follows:
Claim 1 - Job Evaluation.
The current management assessment arrangements have been in place for some ten years during which they have worked successfully. In the circumstances, this system has become established by custom and practice and the Court can see no basis upon which it could recommend its replacement.
Claim 2 - Trade Union Facilities.
The Court is satisfied that the facilities currently afforded to local Union representatives are in line with the requirements of the Code of Practice on facilities to be afforded to employee representatives. The Court noted that the Company is prepared to consider providing more suitable storage space for filing cabinets and recommends that it should do so in consultation with the Union.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th October, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.