INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY LGMSB)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. (1). Failure by Employers to honour Adjudication Agreement (2). Improved Shift Rates.
2. During the Parallel Benchmarking discussions the Union raised the issue of an examination of the pay and allowances of Waterworks/Sewerage Caretakers employed by Local Authorities. Overall agreement was not reached and it was agreed that two Adjudicators would be required to make a binding recommendation on the issues of pay, grading structure and weekend allowances. Their recommendation was issued on the 20th February, 2004. During those adjudication discussions the Union had raised two additional issues which it claimed would be referred back to the Adjudicators if agreement was not reached. Management claimed that it did not comment on these two further issues on the basis that they were not on the agreed agenda. Management were unwilling to have these two further issues referred back to Adjudication but agreed to have them referred to the Labour Relations Commission. Following a conciliation conference one of the issues was resolved. The Management maintained that the other issue should be dealt with by each Local Authority and was not agreeable to have it refereed to the Labour Court from conciliation. This was not acceptable to the Union which referred a complaint to the Labour Court on the 9th August, 2005 under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Court hearing was held on the 27th October, 2005.
3. 1. The Union believes that Management has breached a clear understanding on the use of the Adjudicators, are in breach of their own correspondence and do not conform with Clause 19.7 of Sustaining Progress.
2. The Union is seeking the standard payment of T +1/3 for this small group of workers. The Union is also seeking the new rate from 1st July, 2003 in line with the Adjudicators Recommendation.
4. 1. Management has honoured the Adjudication Recommendation.It should be notes that this matter was not referred to the LRC prior to its Section 20 (1) referral. There were three issues only to be dealt with in the Adjudicators findings and Management fully implemented that agreement.
3. It is entirely unacceptable that the Union, having agreed the three items prior to the Adjudication should subsequently add other matters during the Adjudication process.
4. Management is unable to deal with the issue of shift allowances as they are local in nature. The Union is seeking to standardise rates that exist in particular local authorities. The Union should raise the matter at local level with individual Local Authorities prior to any third party referral.
The Union submitted to the Court that Management had failed to adhere to the Adjudication process set up to deal with outstanding claims which arose during the currency of the Parallel Benchmarking exercise i.e. which were not being addressed by that Body at the time. Included in these claims was a claim for improved shift rates in four Local Authorities.
Management's position was the claim was not one, which was referred to the Adjudicators and, therefore, was not appropriate to that forum. It stated that the claim should have been served at the four Local Authorities in the first place.
The Court is satisfied that the terms of reference of the Adjudicator's report makes no reference to the shift claim. The Court notes that the existing shift premium in each of the four Local Authorities was established at local level and consequently any claim for improvements in the premia must be addressed at local level in the first instance.
Therefore, as the Court would not normally deal with claims which have not been made at local level, the Court upholds Management's position and recommends that the Union should revert to the Local Authorities before it can adjudicate on the claim.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th November, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.