INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CAVAN TOWN COUNCIL
- AND -
UNION OF CONSTRUCTION, ALLIED TRADES AND TECHNICIANS
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Claim for increase in Travel Allowance
2. The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of it's member employed by Cavan Town Council as a carpenter working on house repairs, for an increase in an allowance given for using his own vehicle in relation to his duties. The Union contends that it's member has been in receipt of an allowance of €12.70 per week for fifteen years. The Union's claim is for an increase of €47.30, which reflects some fourteen years of increases which have not been paid. The figure was chosen by the Union on the basis that a variety of payments existed in different Town Councils throughout the Country. Examples given were Ballina at the lower end of the scale on €51.59 and Bray at €113.62. It was decided based on the size of the various towns involved that €60 per week would be a reasonable compromise. The Council rejects the claim on the basis that a mileage log was carried out in August 2001 and based on the log the average daily mileage was six miles and therefore did not merit an increase in the travel allowance.
- 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 16th June, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 23rd November, 2005.
3. 1. The claimant agreed to a figure of ten punts compensation for the use of his car and travel in 1990. At that time Cavan Town was a relatively small rural town. Since that time the town has expanded and with that expansion also has the claimant's travel.
2. No other member of Cavan Town Council has had their travel allowance frozen. All travel allowances are increased annually in line with the General Public Service increases. The Union stated at the conciliation conference that its member would accept the provision of a vehicle for duties and thereby be treated similarly to the Electrician employed by Cavan Town Council.
3. The Union is seeking payment of €60 per week, to be linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the future together with some element of retrospection to the date of the original claim. The Claimant would also accept the provision of transport at any time in the future.
4. 1. At the Labour Relations Commission meeting of the 12th April 2005, the Council proposed to increase the car allowance to €20 per week based on increased fuel costs, insurance costs and motor tax costs.
2. The Union's comparison with urban Councils such as Bray and Ballina is not a reasonable one as the sizes, numbers of council houses and distances travelled in these towns are very different. An increase to €20 is considered fair and reasonable due to the fact that approximately 85% of council houses are within 900 metres of the Claimants base.
The Union on behalf of a carpenter sought an increase in the level of travel allowance paid. It pointed out to the Court that the allowance has not been increased since 1990 and sough an increase from €12.70 per week to €60.00 per week.
Having considered the circumstances in this case, the Court recommends that the allowance should be increased to €33.00 per week and should be paid retrospective to the date of claim - 19th February, 2001. Furthermore, the Court recommends that the allowance should be index linked for the future.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th December 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.