INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. A claim by the Union on behalf of one worker for parity of pay with an associated Company.
2. The Company was acquired by the Grafton Group PLC in 1999 and operates a Builders providers and DIY outlet employing approximately 23 people, 2 of whom are drivers. The worker concerned and his comparator colleague hold a Category C Driving Licence The worker has worked for the Company in Kilkenny for approximately 14 years in a variety of roles. In 2002, the worker was requested by Management to undertake lessons and acquire a Category C Driving Licence as the Company was purchasing an additional truck to meet increased business demands.
- The worker approached management and sought compensation for the increased responsibility in his new role. Management offered two complementary meal allowances per week totalling €12.70 net (when away from base) and agreed to review remuneration after 6 months. No review took place and the proposal of €12.70 by management is unacceptable.
The Union is seeking pay parity of €39.03 per week, appropriate superannuation contribution and retrospection in the sum of €1,369.47 with that of another Category C Licence driver employed by the Company. The worker referred his claim to the Labour Court on the 1st April, 2005 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 the11th October, 2005.
3. 1.The worker obliged Management by training to secure a Category C Driving Licence. He considered this to be a promotional post within the Company.
2. The worker is disadvantaged by €39.03 for work of equal value to his comparator drivers within the Company.
3. When the worker sought a suitable rate of pay for the more responsible post, he was offered two complimentary meal allowances per week to the value of €12.70 on the proviso that the situation would be reviewed in six months. Review did not take place and management have failed to provide any justifiable explanation as to why the worker is disadvantaged locally and within the Grafton Group.
4. The Union contends that the worker performs the same duties and has the same responsibilities as the Category C Licence holder, his comparator working within the Company. Both the worker and the comparator are long standing employees with the Company.
4. 1.The Company believes that there are no objective grounds or basis for this claim. The worker’s comparator is significantly the most senior and experienced company driver and his daily activities level and responsibilities are higher than the claimants.
2. There are varying rates of pay for different categories of staff in the Company and they are broadly grounded in differentials based on the sector/job of activity. The current claim, if conceded would jeopardise and undermine the capacity of the Company to maintain the application of the current pay structure that was comprehensively negotiated in November, 2000. Any concession would clearly lead to ‘knock-on’ claims and their associated instability in employee relations.
3. The Company rejects this claim on the bases that it is disallowable under the current national agreement, Sustaining Progress, as it is a straight forward ‘cost increasing’ claim.
4. The Union, by pursuing this claim have ignored their responsibilities and commitments under Sustaining Progress.
The Court has given careful consideration to the submissions of the parties. It is satisfied that the claimant has taken on additional responsibilities relative to his former position with the employer. Accordingly, the Court does not consider the claim for an appropriate rate of pay to be in breach of Sustaining Progress.
Having regard to the type of truck involved, and the claimant's length of service the Court is not satisfied that the claim for parity of pay with the other driver employed by the Company is justified. The Court recommends, however, that the claimant's pay be increased by €20 per week retrospective to the date on which this matter was referred to the Court. The Court further recommends that when the claimant is required to substitute for the other driver he receive the same rate, for the time involved, as that person.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.