INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
S2(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2001,
AS AMENDED BY THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS(MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT, 2004
NORTH-LINK M 1 LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY BCM HANBY WALLACE, SOLICITORS)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
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 is a private limited Company with three joint shareholders NTR, Ascon of Ireland and ACS (Dragados) of Spain. It was formed to operate and maintain the Dundalk Western Bypass and operate and maintain the motorway south of Drogheda to Ballymascanlon north of Dundalk. The operation of the M1 toll at Drogheda is included in this contract. The issues in dispute which concern a number of workers who are Union Members are as follows:
Rate of Pay
Shift Rate Premium
Sick Pay Scheme
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure
The Company does not recognise the Union for the purposes of collective bargaining. The issues in dispute were referred to the Advisory Service of the Labour Relations Commission under the provisions of the Code of Practice on Voluntary Dispute Resolution ( S.I. 146 of 2004). Both parties participated in this procedure but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 2 (1) of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001 as amended by the Industrial Relations(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004. A Court hearing was held on the 9th November, 2005.
3. 1.Rates of Pay. The rates of pay in the Company are out of line with direct comparators, East link and Westlink (the only other providers of this service in the country) where collective bargaining exists. The rates of pay that apply in Eastlink and Westlink were set by the Court in LCR 16759 as fair and reasonable for the work the employees are engaged in. The Union is seeking the application of the pay rates as applied in Eastlink and Westlink to the claimants with immediate effect and that they be brought in line for future National Wage Agreement adjustments.
2.Shift Premium.The shift premium paid by the Company is out of line with comparators Eastlink and Westlink and companies where collective bargaining exists (Details supplied to the Court). The shift rates that apply in the Company (25%)should be brought in line with those applying in Eastlink and Westlink i.e.(33%).
4.Sick Pay Scheme. The Company operates a sick pay scheme that affords its workers Ten Certified Absence days, no payment for the first two days and Social Welfare benefits in line with normal arrangements. This sick pay scheme is modest and is out of line with Sick Pay Schemes that exist in good Trade Unionised employments in the North East Area and that which is consistent with previous Labour Court Recommendations on such claims where collective bargaining exists.
4.Sunday Premium.The claimants receive their normal pay plus €2.50 per hour worked on a Sunday. Workers on the Eastlink and Westlink Toll Bridge facility receive time plus one half for working on a Sunday if part of their normal roster and double time for Sunday hours on overtime. In a previous case under this code, the Court recommended that these arrangements apply (LCR17932 refers). In Eastlink and Westlink toll companies ,these arrangements continue to apply when the workers are on annual leave and on certified sick leave. The Union is seeking that these arrangements be applied to the claimants.
5.E.S.O.P. The claimants should be included in the E.S.O.P. that applies to workers in the Eastlink and Westlink schemes. If that cannot be done because of the status of the M 1 Northlink as a stand alone company the Union is seeking that a sum be paid to the claimants equal to what the NTR ESOP pays to its employees at Eastlink and Westlink each year.
6.Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure.The Union is seeking that the Company amend its Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure to bring its procedures into line with the terms of S.I. 146 of 2000.
4. 1.Rates of Pay. The Company rejects the claim that its rates of pay and conditions are out of line with relevant and comparable employments. The rates compare favourable with comparable employments in the area. The Company has made significant moves to ensure that its rates are maintained at a competitive and appropriate level. The nature of the North -Link business differs fundamentally from that operating at the Westlink/Eastlink Toll Bridges.
2.Shift Premium. The Company offers a night shift premium of 25% on the basic rate. The Court in LCR 17897 stated that 25% is a national norm for a permanent shift of 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.. The Company contends that its night premium of 25% meets this criteria.
3.Sick Pay Scheme.The Company sickness pay scheme provides that employees absent from work due to sickness qualify for ten days certified sickness pay annually. his is consistent with national arrangements for sick pay schemes.
4.Sunday Premium. The current Sunday Premium is €2,62 per hour. The Company is satisfied that this conforms with the requirements for a Sunday Premium as outlined in the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 and is competitive with Companies operating twenty four- seven operations.
5.E.S.O.P.North Link M 1 is a private company formed by three separately owned and structured entities. The ownership structure North- Link M 1 does not allow for any change in the shareholding of North-Link M1 Ltd.
6.Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure.The Company considers that its proposed Internal Disputes Resolution Procedures document meets the requirements as outlined for such procedures by the Labour Relations Commission.
In Decision No. CD /05 /587 (LCR 18037) the Court found that the conditions specified by Section 2(1) of the Act had been met and that the Court, therefore, had jurisdiction to investigate the substantive dispute between the parties. This investigation having taken place on November, 9th 2005, the Court makes the following recommendations noting the Company has committed to paying and continuing to pay, cost -of-living increases each year.
Pay:The Court has examined the broad spectrum of rates put forward by the parties and the arguments advanced. The Court recommends as follows:
Day Operation. €10.50 x 15 points to €12.15 w.e.f. 1st August, 2005. Other rates referred to the Court for adjudication to be adjusted pro rata.
Shift Premium:The Court recommends 33% for permanent nights and 20% for double day shift, in line with normal good practice (with effect from 1st August, 2005.
Sick Pay Scheme.The Court recommends 4 weeks' pay per year with effect from 1st January, 2006.
Sunday Premium.The Court recommends in respect of Rostered Sunday Hours- Time plus one half: Overtime - Double Time.
ESOP.The present structure of the Company does not allow the Court to recommend such a scheme.
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures in line with SI 146 OF 2000.The Court takes note of the procedure proposed to the Union by the Company in August, 2005, which the Company agreed will be in conformity with SI 146 of 2000. The Court recommends that this scheme be adopted by the parties.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th November, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.