INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
NATIONAL CAR TESTING SERVICE (NCTS)
(REPRESENTED BY MANAGEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES (IRL) LTD)
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Claim for increase in basic pay.
2. The claim is made by the Union on behalf of a group of workers in the call centre of the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) for an increase in basic pay. The Union state that as a result of the Company securing a new contract with the Public Carriage Office (PCO) in London it has resulted in additional duties for the workers. The Union's claim is for the basic pay rate of €9.41 to be increased to €10.50. The Company reject this on the basis that they are in negotiations with the Conciliation Services with a reconvened hearing on the 28th January, 2005 and that pay will be part of those discussions. The Union maintains that this is a separate issue.
- As the matter could not be resolved at local level, the Union referred the claim to the Labour Court on the 8th November, 2004 in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th January, 2005.
3.1 Comparable rates for Call Centre - Customer Service Agents range from €7.96 for trainees to €10.50 after two years service.
2. Workers have had to undertake additional training in order to carry out the new work.
3. Workers have to work harder and smarter to keep on top of their work load.
4. The Company will remain profitable for the remainder of its contract (5 years) as all of the establishing costs were met in the first 2 years of operation.
5. The current rate of pay for Call Centre Agents of €9.41 does not reflect the responsibilities and duties of the position nor does it reflect the professionalism of the members in exercising their role.
4.1 The Company are committed to dealing with Industrial Relations issues through the normal procedures.
2. The Company made proposals in August 2003, to the Union regarding a productivity payment scheme instead of an increase in basic pay. The Union advised that they were not agreeable to the proposal and referred the matter back to the Labour Relations Commission.
3. The Company maintains that a claim for an increase in basic pay is already the subject of discussions under the normal Industrial Relations procedures.
4. Both parties are due to meet with the Conciliation Service on the 28th January 2005 where this matter will be discussed.
The claim before the Court, submitted under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 is for an increase in the basic rate of pay for Call Centre Agents, due to the additional workload associated with PCO bookings and Taxi Meterology Testing.
Management are of the view that "as a claim for an increase in basic pay is already the subject of discussions under normal procedures which are due to attend at a reconvened conciliation conference on 28th January, 2005, that the Company is not in a position to deal with the claim before the Court today". The separate claim concerns the introduction of an incremental scale for the Call Centre Agents.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court is of the view that rather than deal with the merits of the Section 20(1) claim, the Court would urge the parties to deal with it as part of the ongoing negotiations mentioned by management above. The Court notes the arranged conciliation conference for 28th January and recommends that negotiations should be resumed and completed within a period of three months.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th January, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.