INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(2), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Dispute regarding what constitutes 'Normal Ongoing Change' under Section 19(10) of Sustaining Progress
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between SIPTU and Teagasc in relation to restructuring within Teagasc's Advisory and Training services. The Union is claiming an allowance of €15,000 for all advisory and training staff. It has identified proposals whereby the allowances could be paid on a cost neutral basis, although no discussion had taken place between the parties on this issue. Management rejects the claim on the basis that the restructuring plan is in the context of normal ongoing change as provided for under Clause 19(10) of Sustaining Progress.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was referred to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 20(2) of the Industrial Relations Act,1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on 14th December 2005.
3.1 The Union has at all times tried to engage positively with managament to resolve matters in dispute. Management have continually refused to enter into disussions with the Union and have refused to pay increases due under national agreements until the restructuring plan is implemented in full. This is unnaceptable.
2. Management have refused to discuss proposals brought forward by the Union which would allow payment of the allowances on a cost-neutral basis.
3. The claim is not in breach of Sustaining Progress as the changes outlined in the restructring plan are in excess of "normal ongoing change."
4.1 Teagasc reserve the right to implement change in order to take account of changes in the agricultural sector and the requirements of its clients.
2. The payment of the allowance as sought by the Union is unjustified and precluded under Sustaining Progress.
3. The changes outlined in the restructuring plan are in the context of "normal ongoing change."
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court accepts that the matters at issue constitute more than "normal ongoing change" as envisaged in Clause 19.10 of Sustaining Progress.
Accordingly, the Court recommends that the parties should re-engage in meaningful discussions to resolve all outstanding matters.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th January 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.