INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Pay Increase.
2. The dispute concerns two workers who have been employed by the Bank for 32 and 28 years respectively. They held relatively senior positions in the Bank's Stationary Department (SD). In 2003 the Bank decided to outsource the Department and offered the two workers the option to transfer to the new owners or to redeploy into the Bank Official grade. The claimants opted to remain in the Bank's employment, cooperated with the transfer of the business and were duly absorbed into the Bank. Their current salary is €30,060 maximum with an overscale allowance of €3,315. The Union submitted a claim that the two workers be paid the Senior Bank Official (SBO) salary. Management rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A number of Conciliation conferences were held in 2003 and 2004 but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 22nd July, 2004 in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Court hearing was held on the 14th October, 2004.
3. 1. The claimants have served the Bank diligently for many years. They have significant duties and responsibilities. They are entitled to be remunerated at the SBO scale. Other groups in the employment were given the benefit of this level of remuneration. It is grossly unfair that the claimants can only enjoy the same level of remuneration as workers who joined the Bank in the 1990's.
2. Over the years as Bank employees the claimants did not have the opportunities available for promotion which were there in the wider banking system nationally. The Bank's decision to close the SD removed all possibility of advancement and development and the claimants only option was to transfer to the new owners or move into other areas of the Bank.They have transferred to their respective positions within the banking structure, despite the fact that no agreement has been reached on their claims. They have fully integrated into their roles and carried out their duties as clerical staff in an exemplary manner.
4. 1. When the claimants were appointed to the SD their salary and conditions were different to Bank Officials and their role was unique to the SD. Bank Officials were able to progress to the SBO grade after five years satisfactory service. This option was not open to the claimants.
2. When the SD closed staff were offered an assignment to new grades and roles in the Bank. If these are accepted staff will benefit from security, salary progression, greater career development, promotion opportunities and transferability.
3.The Bank is prepared to agree the retention of a pensionable allowance of over €3,000. This means they will always be paid a higher rate than the Bank Official rate. As part of a settlement to this case a conversion process will have to be agreed to convert the claimants to Bank Official roles.
4. The Bank cannot concede the SBO rate. This grade was not open to SD grades. No new Bank Officials have been appointed to this grade since it was closed in 1989. Concession would lead to knock-on claims from other grades.
The Court does not consider it feasible or justified to recommend that the closed grade of Senior Bank Official be reopened to accommodate the claimants.
In all the circumstances of the case the Court is of the view that the fairest solution to this dispute can be found in placing the claimants at the top of the revised Bank Official scale (1st August, 2004 ) and continuing their current overscale rate.
Accordingly the Court recommends that the claimants be placed on the 15th point of the Bank Officials scale (€34,317) and that they retain their current overscale payment of €3315 giving a salary of €37,632. This salary should be effective from 1st August, 2004.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st October, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.