INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Introduction of a service pay scheme.
2. Campbell Catering is involved in the contract catering industry and services clients in over 350 locations employing over 3000 staff.
- The case before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of it’s members for the introduction of a service pay scheme for Campbell Catering employees working at Mayo General Hospital, Baxter Plants based in Castlebar and Swinford.
The Union contends that its members do not believe that long service is adequately recognised and it further contends that the current schemes operated by the Company are not appropriate. The Union is seeking the introduction of such a scheme for employees with service between 5 and 15 years.
The Company rejects the claim and contends that while there is currently no specific scheme in place for monetary recognition in the salary scale, it does recognise the service of individual employees by presenting them with gifts. The Company did offer to adjust the current scheme by changing the “gift” to a monetary value but this was rejected by the Union.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 10th May 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 20th September 2005.
3. 1. There is a graded pay structure in place which starts at €7.65 per hour for a new recruit, point 1 and at point 3 (which is the rate for anyone employed over 3 years) workers are paid €8.36 per hour. The scale stops here. The differential is 71 cent. The current wage agreement recognises the need to "develop a first class work environment which facilitates employee advancement, improves job security, promotes equal opportunities, increases training, productivity, flexibility and good working conditions which benefits everyone involved in the work process".
2. Companies can not cherry pick from this list, selecting the increased productivity and flexibility without ensuring that improved job security and the development of good working conditions are equally concentrated on. In 2000, the Company agreed terms outside the National Agreement which provided for approximately 13% increase over and above Clause 2 P.2000. In this case the Company have been selective as to which aspects of the National Agreement they quote, simply plucking lines from sections to justify their position.
3. Our members are flexible and productive, increasingly so, over the term of this Agreement but they can no longer be subject to this discriminatory approach to the interpretation of its terms.
4. 1. The Company at all times, treated its employees in a fair and reasonable manner. The claim from the Union is unreasonable and does not have merit as the Companyalready has in place benefits,which reflect and recognise the service of all employees.
2. The claim for the introduction of Service Pay is acost-increasing claimand is precluded under clause 1.5 of Sustaining Progress as follows:
"Provides that no cost increasing claims by trade Unions or employees for improvements in pay or conditions of employment, other than those provided in Clause 1.7, 2.1 and 4.1 will be made or processed during the currency of the Agreement"The Company and the Union have operated the Agreement and are fully aware of its contents and the Company expects that the Union will honour its commitments under the Agreement.
The Court considers that the claim as presented is in breach of Clause 1.5 of the pay provisions of "Sustaining Progress" and does not, therefore, recommend its concession.
The Court notes, however, that the Company, at conciliation, was willing to offer, instead of gifts as at present, the monetary value of those gifts after 10, 20 and 30 years (costed from approximately €100 to €300). The Court, therefore, would encourage the parties to resume discussions with a view to arriving at a resolution along these lines.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th October, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.