INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CENTRAL FISHERIES BOARD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Temporary transfer to Swords/Abbotstown.
2. In December 2002 Management confirmed the intended temporary relocation of Head Office to Maynooth Business Campus. In January 2003 the reason for relocation was confirmed as arising out of concerns for the health and safety of staff. An inspection of the building in Glasnevin identified a range of deficiencies which required immediate remedial attention. The temporary relocation is now to be to a premises on the Swords Business Campus and it's laboratory facilities in Abbottstown. The Union claim is for the application of the "Castlerea Formula" for the alleged disturbance associated with the move.
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 the 6th August, 2004, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 9th September, 2004.
3. 1. The workers are required to relocate from Glasnevin, the move is therefore compulsory.
2. The relocation will result in additional mileage and will cause significant additional costs.
3. In addition to the extra expense members will spend more time travelling to and from work and this will reduce the amount of leisure time available to them.
4. The relocation as currently proposed would result in less beneficial terms of employment.
4. 1. Staff recruited from 1997 onwards, who form the majority, have an explicit mobility clause in their contract of employment which provides for relocation of the Board's offices temporarily or permanently.
2. It is Government policy, since October 1983 that no 'disturbance' payments or relocation compensation should be paid to employees in the Public Service.
3. The Department of Finance circular 6/89 sets out the circumstances which allow the payment of removal expenses. This can only occur when a change of residence is necessitated.
The Court has considered the submissions of both parties. The Court notes that since 1983, it is the Government’s policy not to pay disturbance payments or relocation compensation to employees in the public service. Accordingly, the Court does not recommend concession of the claim for payment of a disturbance allowance for the move from Glasnevin to Swords/Abbottstown.
However, in support of its case, the Court notes that the Board quotedEnterprise Ireland v SIPTU, Labour Court Recommendation No: 17610, which involved a move from Sandymount to Glasnevin, where the Court did not recommend a payment to the staff involved. The Court notes that in that case, an offer was made by the Agency prior to the hearing, which comprised of a number of concessions in return for co-operation of staff during and after the move.
The Court notes the CEO’s letter of 19th February 2003 to SIPTU which indicated a willingness to discuss local arrangements regarding travel and subsistence, therefore, with this in mind and in line with the position adopted in Enterprise Ireland, the Court recommends that within these parameters the parties should have immediate discussions in an effort to quantify the employees co-operation, in full and final settlement of the issue. If these discussions do not resolve the issue then it may be referred back to the Court for a definitive recommendation.
Enterprise Ireland also offered to consider individual cases where genuine hardship could be demonstrated as a result of the move, similar to that case, the Court recommends that the Board should consider individual cases where genuine hardship can be demonstrated.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th September, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.