INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
MID WESTERN LIFTS
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Company / Union agreement.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Company and the Union in relation to certain elements of a procedural agreement being negotiated between the parties. Discussions have been ongoing although the parties have failed to reach agreement on the following (a) appropriate pay differential (b) service pay (c) travelling time and (d) holiday entitlements.
The Union is seeking a differential on the rate of pay of 17% (15% including lunch and tool money) against the rate applicable to the National Joint Industrial Council rate for the Electrical Contracting Industry (NJIC). As regards service pay no increase has been applied since 1981, and while the Company has agreed to apply the CPI to service pay going forward, the Union is seeking retrospection to 1981. It is also seeking an increase in travelling time. As regards holiday entitlements the union is seeking the calculation
of holiday pay based on a 55 hour weeek and not 50 as is currently paid.
The Company is in agreement that a differential should apply to the NJIC rate, but has offered 7% and not 17% as requested by the Union. The Company is not in a position to apply retrospection to service pay. As regards travelling time the Company rejects the claim on the basis that it is a cost increasing claim. Insofar as an increase in annual leave is concerned, the Company has offered 21 days per annum and also an additional 2 days based on service. It is not in a position to enhance its offer further.
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 21st June, 2005, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 7th September, 2005.
3. 1. The Union is seeking a differential on the NJIC rate of 17 % (15% including lunch and tool money). This is based on the average differential between 1989 and 2004. The differential, as sought, is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.
2. As regards service pay, it is unacceptable that no increase has been applied since 1981. Although agreement has been reached going forward, retrospection is due to workers since 1981.
3. Travelling time has previously been incorporated in the rate of pay. In recent times due to increased volumes of traffic and continuous delays, the Union is seeking that the first hour of travelling time be re-incorporated into real travelling time.
4. In terms of annual leave entitlement, the Company offered 23 days based on service. The Union accept the concept of service based annual leave, but are seeking 25 days as a fair and reasonable proposal.
4. 1. As regards the established pay differential, the Company is operating in an extremely competitive market and must exercise financial restraint if it is to remain viable. It is accepted that a link be established to the NJIC rate but a 7% differential is fair in the circumstances.
2. It has been agreed between the parties for service pay linked to the CPI going forward. After agreement was reached a claim was received for retrospection. As agreement had already been reached, the Company is not in a position to
3. In terms of travelling time, the payment of an additional hours pay to each worked day would represent a major increase in pay costs to the Company which would be unsustainable.
4. Insofar as annual leave entitlement is concerned, the offer is well above the entitlements laid down by the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.
The Company is acknowledging the service and experience of the workforce by introducing service based annual leave - but is not in a position to extend the offer beyond 23 days per annumn.
Traditionally, the Lift Industry has negotiated on a national basis with the TEEU on terms and conditions of employment within the industry. In the case before the Court, the parties involved concern one company within the Lift Industry and the TEEU and has no relevance to the industry as a whole.
The Court note that this case concerns four items outstanding from a new Procedural Agreement being negotiated between Mid Western Lift Services Limited and TEEU which will replace all previous agreements between the parties.
The four items in dispute are as follows:
Rate of Pay for Lift Engineers
Both parties have agreed to introduce a defined relativity for Lift Engineers based on the NJIC rates for the Electrical Contacting Industry. The Union sought the establishment of a 17% (15% including lunch and tool money) differential over the NJIC (5 years out of time) rate and the Senior Engineer’s rate. On the basis that the analogue arrangement for the NJIC rate remains as at present, the Company has agreed to establish a differential over the NJIC rate. The Company offered to pay a differential of 7% over the NJIC rate to yield a rate of €20.18 per hour for Lift Engineers. This was not acceptable to the Union.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court can see no grounds to recommend in favour of the Union’s claim and accordingly upholds the Company’s offer on pay.
The Company has conceded to the Union’s claim to index link increases in service pay in line with increases in the Consumer Price Index, effective from 1st January 2006. The Union sought retrospection to 1981.
The Court does not recommend in favour of the Union’s claim on retrospection.
The current rates of pay for Lift Technicians include payment for the first hour of travelling time each day, when travelling to a work location away from the Company’s
premises. The Union sought discontinuation of this arrangement and its consolidation into basic pay. Furthermore, the Union sought the re-introduction of payment for the first hour of travelling as paid travelling time.
The Court sees no grounds to alter the established arrangement in place since 1998 as endorsed by the Labour Court in LCR No: 15,835 and consequently, does not recommend in favour of the Union’s claim on this item.
(a) Annual Leave Entitlement
The Company grant 20 days annual leave per annum and in response to the Union’s claim, it offered to increase the entitlement as follows :
•22 days - after 5 years service,
•23 days - after 10 years service.
The Union sought 25 days annual leave in total, i.e. the above offered arrangement extended by the following:
•24 days - after 15 years service
•25 days - after 20 years service.
The Court is of the view that the offer to increase annual leave to 23 days on a service basis is a reasonable offer and therefore, the Court recommends that the Union accepts the Company’s offer.
(b) Calculation of Annual Leave Pay
At present annual leave pay is calculated on the basis of 50 hours per week and pro rata for each days annual leave. The Union claimed that the basis of calculation should be 55 hours.
The Court sees no grounds to recommend concession of the Union’s claim.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th October, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.