INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
S2(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2001,
AS AMENDED BY THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS(MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT, 2004
(REPRESENTED BY EUGENE GLENDON COAKLEY MOLONEY, SOLICITORS)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
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 dispute concerns a number of workers employed in Murphy's SuperValu in Kenmare who joined the Union in February, 2005. The Union brought a number of issues of concern to the Company and, following referral to the Advisory Service of the Labour Relations Commission, the following four issues were referred to the Labour Court on the 10th of August, 2005:-
Union representation, pay structure, pension access and rosters.
Briefly, the Union is seeking the following:-
Union representation:that an individual employee may have Union representation for individual grievances and disciplinary matters.
Pay structure:at present the Company pays 7.5% over the Joint Labour Committee (JLC) rate to some employees. The Union is seeking that this payment should apply to all employees.
Pension:the Union believes that it is incumbent upon the Company to give access to a pension to the employees. Ideally it would be a defined benefit scheme or, at least, access to Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSAs).
Rosters:the Union is seeking a rotation facility within the roster system to ensure parity of working time / time off and access to weekend premium rates of pay.
The Company's position on the issues are as follows:
Union representation:at the hearing the Company said it was agreeable to the Union's request for individual representation.
Pay:the Company pays a 7.5% differential to Chargehands in accordance with the JLC. When a Chargehand position becomes available employees are free to apply for such a position.
Pension:the Company's case is that there has been no interest to date from any employees in joining a Pension Scheme.
Rosters:the Company must reserve the right to dictate rosters in accordance with business requirements. Employees are advised, on appointment, of their relevant hours.
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 22nd of September, 2005. The following is the Court's Recommendation:-
This dispute was referred to the Court pursuant to Section 2(1) of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001, as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004, ("the Acts"). The Court is satisfied that the conditions specified at Section 2(1) (a) to 2(1) (d) of the 2001 Act are fulfilled in this case and that the dispute is properly before the Court for investigation and recommendation.
The Court has taken careful account of the submissions of the parties in both their written and oral presentations. Section 5(2) of the 2001 Act provides that a Recommendation made by the Court shall not provide for arrangements for collective bargaining. Subject only to that restriction the Court is required to give its opinion on the matters under investigation and, where appropriate, its view as to the action which should be taken, having regard to the terms and conditions of employment, in the employment concerned. On behalf of its fourteen members in the Company the Union submitted claims to the Court concerning the Company's internal grievance and disciplinary procedures, rates of pay, roster hours and pension access.
The Court recommends, as follows:-
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures
The Company stated to the Court that it would facilitate representation by a colleague or a Trade Union representative as the employee may decide when processing individual grievances and disciplinary matters. The Court is satisfied that this commitment meets with the Union's claim for the introduction of such procedures consistent with the Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary procedures (S.1. 146 of 2000). Should there be any continuing or residual dispute on this issue the matter should be referred to the Court pursuant to Section 43(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
Rates of Pay
The Union submitted a claim for an increase in pay of 7.5% for its members employed in the supermarket. The Company stated that it pays JLC rates to these workers with the exception of Chargehands who are paid a 7.5% differential over the JLC rates in line with that agreed within the industry. The Court is satisfied that the rates of pay paid by the employer are not out of line with appropriate standards and does not recommend in favour of the Union's claim.
The Union raised two concerns regarding rosters which are causing difficulties for its members, namely:-
(i) For those rostered five days over seven there is no opportunity to take two consecutive days off;
(ii) for those on the fixed evening roster from 12.00 noon to 9.00 p.m. they cannot rotate their roster with day workers thereby limiting their flexibility.
The Court recommends that management and staff should endeavour to provide, where possible, two consecutive days off at least once every 5/6 weeks for those on five over seven day rosters. Similarly, both sides should make every effort when formulating rosters to include a reasonable degree of flexibility while at the same time: (a) taking account of management's need to run the business in an efficient manner and with due regard to the seasonal demands of the business; and (b) taking account of the need to allow some flexibility for staff. For the avoidance of doubt, the Court upholds management's right to offer contracts with specified working hours which are non-rotational.
The Court recommends that a Defined Contribution Pension Scheme be introduced which conforms to normal eligibility criteria. There should be a contribution of 4% payable by the Company and a further 4% payable by the employee. The Scheme should be finalised within four months of the date of this Recommendation.
Save where otherwise stated this Recommendation should be implemented within one month of the date on which it is issued.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th October, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.