INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
S2(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2001,
AS AMENDED BY THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS(MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT, 2004
ORMONDE WASTE LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Referral from The Labour Relations Commission under The Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001, as amended by The Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004.
2. The Company, formerly known as Sewmar, acquired the business in September, 2004, and is involved in collecting, segregating, recycling and dumping of waste material. It employs 29 workers at its base in Wexford.
The Union referred its case under the Enhanced code of Practice on Voluntary Dispute Resolution (S.I. 76/2004). Following contact from the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) Advisory Service two meetings took place between the parties. As the matter could not be sorted, the Union referred the following issues to the Court on the 23rd of March, 2005.
1) Rates of Pay out of line with comparable Industries
2) Application of Sustaining Progress increases
3) Introduction of Sick Pay Scheme
4) Reduction in working week to 39 hours
5) Establishment of Health & Safety Committee & Establishment of an Anti Bullying & Harassment Policy
6) Establishment of Grievance & Disciplinary Procedure (S.I. No.146 of 2000)
7) Paid time off to attend LRC/Labour Court hearings.
Briefly, the Union is seeking the following:
Drivers:pay rates range from €8.25 per hour to €10 per hour, plus €12 per day meal allowance. The Union is seeking €13 per hour plus €12 meal allowance.
Helpers:currently on €7.75 per hour plus €12 per day meal allowance. The Union is seeking €9.00 per hour plus the meal allowance.
General Operatives:currently €7.00 per hour plus €30 per week bonus. The Union is seeking €9.00 per hour.
Administration:currently €8.62 per hour and the Union is seeking €9.50 per hour.
(2) Sustaining Progress:
The Union is seeking Phase 2 (1.5%)of S.P. from the 1st of June, 2005, and Phase 3 on the due date.
(3)Sick Pay Scheme:
There is currently no sick pay scheme and the Union is seeking a scheme of 6 weeks duration on full pay.
(4) 39 hour week:
Employees currently work 40 hours per week. The Union wants the standard week of 39 hours.
(5)Health and Safety:
The Union is seeking the following:
- That a Safety Representative be elected in accordance with legislation by way of an open nomination system and ballot of the employees.
The elected Safety Representative, if a SIPTU member, would be released with pay to attend the SIPTU training course for Safety Representatives. They should be allowed to attend one 3-day and one 10-day course in their term of office.
The establishment of a proper forum that meets regularly to deal with the issues.
(6) Grievance and Disciplinary Committee:
SIPTU is seeking the following:
A written procedure compliant with the general provisions of the code of Practice on Grievance & Disciplinary Procedures (S.I. 146 of 2000) to provide for trade Union representation in processing individual grievances and disciplinary matters, where an employee wishes to avail of such representation . Plus the provision to utilise the normal dispute resolution machinery of the state, including the reference of disputes to Conciliation, the Rights Commissioner service and the Labour Court as appropriate.
(7) Payment to representatives:
The Union is seeking that two employee representatives who attended the Labour Court hearing should be reimbursed.
THE COMPANY'S CASE
The Company believe that its overall package of pay and benefits is competitive within the industry which, it claims, is very competitive with low profit margins. Briefly, its view on the issues are as follows:-
(1)Pay:Ormond Waste is a private sector Company and is not in a position to implement local authority rates of pay.
(2)Sustaining Progress:rates of pay have been reviewed from the 1st of January, 2005, and the Company is prepared to review the situation in accordance with the National Agreements.
(3)Sick Pay Scheme:the Company is in the process of introducing an employees' handbook which includes the introduction of a sick pay scheme.
(4)Health and Safety:the Company is committed to the establishment of a Health and Safety Committee which will include employees from different areas of its business.
(5)Grievance and disciplinary:the grievance and disciplinary procedures are contained in the employee handbook.
(6)Anti-bullying and harassment policy:the Company's policy is contained in clause 4.2 of the employees' handbook.
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 22nd of April, 2005. The following is the Court's recommendation:
The Court is satisfied that the terms and conditions of employment of the workers associated with this claim are out of line with appropriate standards and that it is appropriate for the Court to made recommendations on the Union's claim pursuant to Section 5 of the Act.
Having considered the submissions of the parties the Court recommends as follows:
Drivers (including JCB Driver)
The rate of pay of this category of employee should be increased to €11.50 with effect from 1st June 2005. There should be a further increase to €13.00 with effect from 1st March 2006.
General Operatives and Helpers
The rate of pay of this category of employee should be increased to €8.50 with effect from 1st June, 2005. There should be a further increase to €9 with effect from 1st March, 2006.
The rate of pay of this category of employee should be increased to €9 with effect from 1st June 2005.
The rates specified should be exclusive of annual cost of living increases to which the employer is committed.
The current subsistence allowance of €12 per day should continue to be paid, on a red-circled basis, to those who are currently in receipt of that amount. New employees should receive an allowance of €6 per day.
The employer should introduce a sick pay scheme providing for up to six weeks paid sick leave in a calendar year. All sick leave should be covered by a medical certificate. The scheme should apply to all employees who have completed their probationary period. The scheme should not operate in respect of the first 3 days of any illness.
The Court recommends that a standard 39 hour week be introduced without loss of pay.
Health Safety & Welfare
The Court notes the employer's assurances that measures will be taken to have safety Representatives appointed in accordance with law and that the representatives be provided with appropriate training. The Court recommends that the employer proceed accordingly.
Payment of Representatives
The Court recommends that in the circumstances of this case the Union's claim be conceded on this occasion. This should not be regarded as a precedent for the future.
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure
The Union claimed that the current internal procedures for the processing of issues relating to individual grievances and disciplinary matters are inadequate in that they do not provide for representation of employees by a Trade Union in appropriate cases.
The employer informed the Court that it intends to review its internal procedures having regard to the provisions of the Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures (SI 146 of 2000). The Court recommends that the employer proceed accordingly. Any dispute concerning the compatibility of the revised internal procedures with the provisions of the Code of Practice should be processed through the procedures of Section 43 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990.
Save where otherwise appears these recommendations should be implemented within one month from the date of this recommendation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
5th May, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.