INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(2), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Resumed hearing arising from LCR 18097
2. The issue before the Court initially concerned a dispute between An Post and the Communication Workers Union regarding the Staff impact issues arising from the Board's decision to integrate the parcels business SDS back into An Post. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th February, 2005 and a Labour Court Recommendation LCR 18097 issued on the 16th March, 2005, details contained therein.
Following clarification requests on a number of issues from the parties in February and March, 2006 regarding LCR 18097, a further Labour Court hearing took place on 22nd June, 2006. The following is the Court's recommendation.
By written correspondence to the Court (An Post letter dated 28th February 2006 and 20th March 2006, CWU 6th March 2006), both parties sought clarification on a number of issues arising from Labour Court Recommendation No: 18097. In order to address these, the Court held a resumed hearing on 22nd June 2006.
Labour Court Recommendation No: 18097 dealt with claims arising as a result of the reintegration of SDS into An Post when the decision was taken to close SDS. The case was referred by both parties to the Court under Section 20 (2) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969.
The Court was notified by both parties that one of the issues referred for clarification -Treatment of Performance Related Pay (PRP) as overtime for Income Protection purposes- has been settled and agreed between the parties.
Shift Allowance for Inspectors in Galway(referred by CWU only)
Under Labour Court Recommendation No: 18097 this issue was deemed to be a “local issue” and was referred to the LRC for conciliation. Both parties agreed to the retention of an Inspector post on night duty in Galway pending the outcome of the Collection and Delivery discussions.
A dispute arose over whether this post should be a fixed duty post or a rotating post. The Company stated to the Court that the Inspector post was a fixed duty post and at no stage did management state that it would rotate. The local staff took the decision to rotate the post and began this arrangement. However, the Company have not paid the shift allowance, as it does not accept that the post needs to be rotated.
The Union held the view that the post was a rotating post with the approval of the Delivery Services Manager from the outset and held that the appropriate shift allowance should be paid.
The Court recommends that this post should be a rotating post, paid the appropriate allowance and should be considered as fully integrated with letters operation.
The Union sought the application of the 12.5% change allowance, backdated to 15th September 2003 for a number of network drivers based at Ballina, Cavan, Claremorris, Clonmel, Cork, Drogheda, Dundalk, Galway, Letterkenny, Monaghan, Sligo, Tralee, Waterford and Wexford. The Union contends that the drivers concerned have fully co-operated with all of the administrative and operational changes required of the payment of the allowance. They performed the same work as the SDS drivers who received the allowance, used the same technology and worked the new arrangements.
The Company stated to the Court that all the drivers in An Post, over and above those encompassed by the “New SDS” Agreement of 2003 received the productivity allowance arising from the Collection and Delivery Agreement.
The Company stated to the Court the issue of change allowance for network drivers based at Limerick and Galway had been addressed by the Court in its recommendation and should not be used by the Union to open the door to a host of additional claims for drivers in other locations. The Union submitted that the reasons the claims had not emerged at the time of the Labour Court hearing was that these were residual issues, which needed to addressed once the closure and reintegration of SDS was dealt with.
The Company costed the claim at €500,000.
The Court does not recommend in favour of the claim for these network drivers. The Court is satisfied that the “New SDS” Agreement of 2003 was specific on who should receive the change allowance and a productivity allowance arising from the Collection and Delivery Agreement was paid to all the drivers in An Post. These claims were not raised with the Court at its hearing under LCR 18097 and therefore the Court sees no reason for these residual claims being raised.
As this issue was not before the Court when the Court issued Labour Court Recommendation No: 18097, and the Company objected to the claim being referred as part of the clarification process, the Court is not in a position to deal with the matter in this form.
Postal Sorter Post in Cork
The Union sought the application of the 12.5% change allowance to a Postal Sorter post in Cork which arose as the Company announced the closure of the SDS at the same time as the post although offered was not filled as neither the Company or the Union had agreed staffing levels.
The post remains vacant pending a review of operations.
The Court recommends that the parties should deal with this matter as a matter of urgency.
Change Allowance To Surplus Drivers in Dublin
The Union sought application of the change allowance on a pro-rata basis to 8 surplus drivers in Dublin who did not secure a duty as part of the “New SDS” Agreement May 2003. They were required by the Company to remain in SDS. The Company submitted that in accordance with the Agreement, surplus staff were not entitled to the change allowance.
Labour Court Recommendation No: 18097 has dealt with two Drivers and recommended that the change allowance should be paid to them on a personal to holder basis. There were originally ten surplus unassigned drivers, who were subsequently assigned to SDS on a temporary basis, however, the 8 who returned to Collection and Delivery operations now present their claim for the change allowance.
Having considered the matter the Court recommends that the Company should pay the 8 drivers, €1,250 each as a gesture of goodwill and in full and final settlement of the claim.
Limerick Post Office Clerks
The dispute between the parties relates to the number of Post Office Clerks required in Limerick. Labour Court Recommendation No: 18097 recommended:
- “The Court recommends that there should be four POC positions in Limerick and that the situation should be reviewed as part of the Clerical Pay and Grade Review, where final staffing levels should be agreed.”
The Court notes that since the Labour Court hearing there has been correspondence dated 26th June 2006, from the Company to the Union encompassing a proposal to resolve this matter and the Court urges both sides to finalise this matter.
Management Levels Cork
Labour Court Recommendation No: 18097 recommended:
- The Court recommends that the management staffing level in the Cork Depot should be the Depot Manager, plus one manager at Superintendent 2 level to take responsibility for parcels business, to be in attendance especially at the busiest times for parcel business and reporting to the Depot Manager.
A dispute arose between the parties concerning whether this post should be a dedicated management post dealing with parcels as required by the Union, or an integrated post as required by the Company. The Union are of the view that the post is required at night time only and should therefore attract the appropriate night duty allowance. It also makes the point that the person who opted for this post did so on the basis that it suited him to work the night hours and he was not interested in rotating hours.
Based on the information given to the Court concerning the individual involved, the Court recommends that he should be entitled to work the duty on a fixed night duty basis. This is being recommended on a personal to holder basis and on his eventual departure from the role, the position should be integrated with the overall management of the Mails Centre.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.