INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
DUBLIN AIRPORT AUTHORITY, SHANNON AIRPORT
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR18433, IR18710, IR18711/04/MR.
2. The Union's claim concerns three workers who are currently employed in the Company's Shared Services Centre (SSC) which is based at Shannon Airport. (The Company was formerly known as Aer Rianta). They have been there since September, 2002. Prior to the setting up of SSC, a series of 10.8% productivity deals were negotiated across the Company. There was also a lead-in payment of €2,500. Workers A and B are claiming the 10.8% productivity deal plus the lead-in payment in line with the Catering Productivity proposals. Worker C is claiming the lead-in payment of €2,500. The workers are claiming that, unlike their colleagues who had moved to the SSC, they did not receive the payments. Briefly, the Union's position is as follows:
Worker A transferred in August, 2002, to the SSC scale. She was told initially that she would receive the 10.8% productivity payment but was later told that the Company would not entertain her claim. Despite having four more years' seniority than Worker C she is on the same pay as a result of Worker C having received the 10.8% productivity payment.
Worker B transferred to the SSC in September, 2002, and was put on the nearest point of the pay scale. He was under the impression that he would be on his existing Aer Rianta scale. He was told that he would receive the 10.8% productivity payment plus the lead-in payment when the Catering negotiations were concluded but this did not happen.
Worker C transferred to the Human Resources Department in April, 2002, at the bottom point of the Clerical grade 3 point. This pay scale included the 10.8% increase. She did not get the lead-in payment. When she transferred to SSC in September, 2002, it was to the bottom point of the SSC scale. Other workers who had transferred remained on their Clerical pay scales.
The Company's case is that the three workers had left their previous section of in-flight catering before any productivity deals were negotiated there. As such they were not entitled to the payments made to other staff within their old section.
The Union referred the case to a Rights Commissioner and his recommendation was as follows:-
"In the circumstances, I recommend that the parties should meet at an early date to discuss the rates of pay in the SSC and that a strict timetable should be agreed for any further discussions on the matter. All of the issues raised at the Hearing regarding the three claimants should be part of those discussions. If any issues pertaining to an individual remain outstanding at the end of this process, the Union should then submit a further claim to the Rights Commissioner Service in the normal way".
The workers appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 31st of January, 2005, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 27th of April, 2005, in Limerick.
3. 1. It was agreed that Clerical Staff transferring to the SSC would retain their grade structure i.e. grades 3, 2 or 1. This did not happen in the case of the three workers.
2. The SSC pay scale was never agreed or negotiated with the Union.
3. Almost every permanent staff member has benefitted from the 10.8% productivity payment, a lead-in payment of €2,500 and some retrospection. The three workers concerned should be treated equally.
4. 1. There is no loss of pay to the three workers following their transfer to the SSC. Indeed, all three have gained considerably in terms of increased salaries and bonuses (details supplied to the Court).
2. The three workers moved voluntarily to the SSC and they accepted the pay scales there. The productivity agreements for which they are claiming the 10.8% and / or lead-in payments happened after they transferred and, therefore, they are not entitled to them.
3. The pay scales within the SSC take account of the 10.8%. Concession of the Union's claim would lead to knock-on claims from other SSC employees.
The Court is of the view that the parties should abide by the terms of the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation and should meet to discuss the rates of pay, while dealing with the cases of the 3 claimants. This should be done within six weeks of the date of issue of this decision. At the end of the process the cases of any of the three claimants should then revert to the Rights Commissioner as stated.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
12th May, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.