INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
TECHNICAL ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Pay and pensions
2. The case concerns 700 members in the Craft and General Operative Grades employed by the Roadstone / Wood Group of Companies. There are two claims as follows:
1. Pay parity with Construction Industry basic rates of pay.
2. De-integration of Social Welfare with Operatives Pension Scheme
The Sustaining Progress (S.P.) agreement expired on the 30th of November, 2005,
for the workers concerned. The Unions first made their claims in April, 2005. The
Company's response was that it was not prepared to respond until S.P. has expired,
and it also pointed out that discussion on the successor to S.P. was also expected to commence. The Company's case is that its terms and conditions are already considerably better than its competitors and that there is no justification for the Unions' claims.
The case was referred to the Labour Relations Commissions and a conciliation
conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was
referred to the Labour Court on the 30th of March 2006. A Labour Court hearing
took place on the 27th of June, 2006.UNIONS' ARGUMENTS:
- 2. The current basic rates of pay in the Company are considerably below those paid in the Construction Industry (details supplied to the Court). The Unions believe that the Construction Industry rates should apply and, if agreed, the application of increases under any new National Agreement should also take place.
3. The Company operated a defined benefit pension scheme. While the Unions accept that the scheme is good in the context of other schemes, they believe that the value of the benefits has been significantly eroded by improvements to Social Welfare in recent years.
COMPANY'S ARGUMENTS:4. 1. The Company believes that it is totally inappropriate to enter into local discussion with the Unions while National negotiations are taking place. The current claim is in breach of S.P.
2. The terms and conditions of employment in the Company are far superior to those offered in any competitor company in the industry.
3. The vast majority of competitors are operating at a significant competitive advantage, mainly because of the differences in pay, pensions, bonuses, sick pay, incremental scales and overtime premiums.
The Court has considered the submissions of the parties and can see no justification for the Unions raising pay and pensions issues whilst the ratification process of the Central Pay Agreement (T2016) process remains to be concluded.
The Court notes that it is the intention of the Company, as a matter of course, to meet with all the Unions involved when all aspects of the Central Pay Agreement have been finalised.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th July, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.