INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY ANNE HICKEY SOLICITOR)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Pay Claim for loss of earnings.
2. This case concerns a dispute between the worker and Bus Eireann in relation to a claim for loss of earnings. The worker has been continuosly employed by Bus Eireann since June 2000. He was initially employed as a relief driver with a view to a permanent position in the parcels office.
The worker's position is that driving duties were mostly carried out by him and he should have been appointed as a permanent driver in June 2001.
In fact, it is claimed he was not appointed as a permanent driver until October 2004, which resulted in a loss of earnings and also issues regarding seniority.
Management's position is that the worker was appointed as a depotperson in June 2000 and made permanent in June 2001. He continued in his position until May 2002 when he undertook full-time driving duties. Management claim that under the Company/Union Agreement and because he was not in his second season of employment in 2000, the worker could not have been assigned to Sligo as a permanent driver. This clause of the agreement was subsequently changed in June 2004 and the worker was permanently assigned as a driver in Sligo fom 27th September, 2004.
On the 28th March 2006, the worker referred the matter to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Recommendation of the Court. A Labour Court hearing took place on 16th November, 2006.
3. 1. The worker has not been paid the correct entitlements as he was not permanently appointed until September, 2004. This resulted in a loss of earnings and also caused difficulties with regard to seniority.
2. The appointment of three other drivers to permanent posts in Sligo were a breach of the agreement between the Union and Management as seasonal workers in their second season of employment should be in a position to apply for permanent posts on a rotational basis with existing permanent staff.
4. 1. The worker was not eligble to be permanently assigned as a Driver until after June 2004 when the Company/Union agreement improved the opportunities for post June 2000 seasonal drivers to be considered for permanent posts. As soon as these changes were agreed the worker was assigned to permanent driving duties in Sligo with effect from 27th September, 2004
2. This matter was also the pursued to the Drivers Change Programme Tribunal which consisted of two Union representatives, two Management representatives and an independent chairperson. Having considered the matter, the Tribunal issued its binding decision that the worker, based on clause 4.3 of the Company/Union agreement was not yet entitled to be assigned as a permanent driver in Sligo.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court notes that the worker was placed on the drivers scale at point 2 in September 2004 and appointed to year 3 on 1st April 2005, five months prior to the due date. He is currently on the max of the scale. The Court is satisfied that this level of progression indicates that he was granted acceleration on the scale in recognition of his previous driving service.
Under the Drivers Change Programme the criteria for appointment of permanent drivers was outlined. This was subsequently reviewed to include seasonal driving experience on 2nd July 2004. The Court does not accept that the worker should have been given the benefit of this agreement, prior to its finalisation and acceptance. Furthermore, the Court is satisfied that he was appointed to a driver position at the first opportunity following the agreement.
The Court also notes that the decision of the Drivers Change Programme Tribunal was made prior to the finalisation of the July 2004 agreement, and accepts that such decision are binding on the parties.
Therefore, the Court does not concede the worker’s claims for outstanding monies and reclassification of pay scale.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th November 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.