INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. (i) Pay parity for non red-circled staff (ii) employment of students (iii) implementation of swipe card system.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between management at Glanbia and SIPTU in relation to 3 issues (i) pay parity for non red-circled staff, (ii) employment of students and (iii) implementation of swipe card system.
The Union is seeking a weekly payment of €10.71 to be paid to non red-circled staff retrospectively to 16th October, 2000, an end to the employment of students and a €500 voucher for co-operation in the changeover from the old clocking card system to a new swipe card system.
The Company rejects the claim on the basis, that as regards pay parity, this was never agreed. As regards the employment of students, this is an essential part of the business and must be continued and the payment of the voucher (€30) was given as a goodwill gesture and not for the changeover on the clock card system.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a number of conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 4th November, 2004, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 10th March, 2005, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1.Pay Parity- The Company has agreed to pay parity of non red-circled staff with red-circled staff, backdated to 1st January, 2005. This is unacceptable as the Unions claim is for retrospection to 16th October, 2000.
Employment of Students- Students are employed to deprive existing staff members of overtime.
Swipe Card System- The Company had offered €40 vouched per person in return for the implementation of a swipe card system. This was subsequently reduced to €30, which was also given in all other Glanbia plants. The claim for a €500 voucher for the changeover in the clocking system is fair in the circumstances.
4. 1.Pay Parity- Pay parity of non red-circled staff to red-circled staff was not agreed by the Company although it would be conceded in the context of a resolution of the other outstanding issues.
Employment of Students- The employment of students is necessary to facilitate cover during periods of annual leave, fixed days off, etc. If this system was no longer available to management it would create difficulties during these periods. In an attempt at resolution the Company has agreed to offer extra work to existing staff in the first instance and also reduce the periods of time that students may be employed.
Swipe Card System- The implementation of the swipe card system is necessary from both an operational and Health and Safety point of view. No payment has been made in relation to the implementation of the swipe card system at any other site. The vouchers were given as a goodwill gesture at Christmas.
The Union submitted three claims before the Court. These relate to (i) pay parity for non-redcircled staff, (ii) "employment of students" and (iii) implementation of swipe card system.
The Court notes that at two LRC conciliation conferences substantial progress was made on the issue of the "employment of students". The outcome of the second conference held on 22nd November, 2004, was outlined in Appendix 3 of the Unions' submission to the Court. The Court recommends that the parties should meet to refine these proposals and work out appropriate structures/manning for overtime cover, to include temporary workers and part time workers. The Court recommends that the term "students" should be replaced with the term "temporary" employees.
The Court recommends that these discussions should be completed within a period of one month. The Court is reluctant to make recommendations on the remaining two claims until the above issue has been resolved between the parties. Therefore, the Court recommends that the parties should report back to the Court with details of the progress made, when the Court will reconsider the position.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
31st March, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.