INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ALLIED IRISH BANKS
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Issues relating to Security Control Room and related issues.
2. Allied Irish Bank employs forty in-house Security Guards based in four locations. The dispute before the Court concerns twelve Security Guards based in the Security Control room within the Bankcentre complex in Ballsbridge. The Bank is reconfiguring its security room in the Bankcentre, which involves the updating of technology. The Bank contends that the technology enhancements are related to the co-ordination and ease of use of the current technology systems. The other changes involved are the expansion of the remote monitoring to off site cash centres and the provision for placement of a supervisor in the control room.The Bank further contends that all changes were envisaged and included in the current four-year Pay and Productivity Agreement agreed with the Union in 2002 and therefore the Bank has already paid compensation for the changes.
- The Union contends that the Bank announced that the twelve Security Staff would move into the new enlarged Control Room and that they would be obliged to co-operate in line with local agreements and the "normal on-going change" clause of Sustaining Progress. The Union rejects the Bank's contention and states that this is major change and is not covered by local agreement or the normal on-going change clause of Sustaining Progress. The Security Guards have adhered to and embraced all kinds of change since the agreement was implemented, however, it is not accepted that changes of this magnitude are covered by the agreement.
The Union advised the bank that a number of other issues must be addressed in advance of the Security Guards moving to the new Control Room as follows; enhanced early retirement lump sum, calculation of holiday pay, lump sum payment compensation for move to the new control room and pay increase.
- The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 29th November, 2005 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 16th March, 2006, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. An enhanced option to retire early was agreed as part of the four year agreement between the parties, which came into effect in June 2002, as follows: The pension was to be calculated on a pro rata pension based on current salary. An additional ex gratia lump sum up to a maximum of €20,000 would also be payable. The maximum ex-gratia lump sum to be paid if the retiree is ten years or more from actual retirement date of exit and the ex-gratia lump sum is be reduced by 10% for each year into the final ten years. The Bank is prepared to adjust the lump sum by inflation to date, however, the Bank had no requirement at this time to reduce numbers of Security Guards and it is unusual that the Union is pursuing an exit package. The Bank is not willing to enhance the lump sum on offer any further.
2. The calculation of Annualised Hours Overtime Pay (AHOP) is compliant with the Organisation of Working Time (Determination of Pay for Holidays) Regulations 1997, due to the payment in question being related to normal rostered hours and not overtime. The Act requires that Holiday Pay be calculated at the normal weekly rate. The Bank Holiday treble time payment in dispute is a payment for normal rostered hours, not overtime and therefore not captured by the Act.
3. The new Control Room is approximately twenty metres from the current Control Room and the current entrance will continue to be used. The Bank has a right to relocate all categories of staff in line with business needs, provided such moves are not unreasonable. The Bank cannot justify a Lump sum payment for this group given the nature of the relocation in question, precedents in place, and practices with respect to relocations. There is no impact on daily routine, shift structures or travel to and from work.
4. The Bank rejects the claim for increased pay for Security Guards.The nature of all aspects of the change proposed are covered by the current pay and productivity agreement between the parties. The changes proposed are covered as part of normal on-going change and therefore covered by the provisions of Sustaining Progress.
4. 1. The requirement for the enhanced retirement lump sum stems from the fact that a number of Security Guards feel that they may be getting too old to face yet another wave of technological change. The Union is seeking the previously proposed €20,000 ex-gratia payment to be increased to the value for twelve months P60 earnings to the individual retiring with a less penal scale of reduction coming up to retirement age.
2. AIB have a similar security operation in Donnybrook House. In early 2005 it was discovered that the calculation of Annualised Holiday Overtime Pay was done differently in Donnybrook House in that it included a treble-time allowance for rostered Public Holidays. This was excluded in the calculation for the Bank Centre Security Guards and the Court is being asked to recommend that AIB rectifies this anomaly, with a measure of retrospection included. The Union is seeking that the treble time Public Holiday allowance be included in the Holiday Pay calculation. As this anomaly has existed for a period of some twenty three years, the Court is requested to recommend an improved lump sum payment in lieu of retrospection.
3. The Union is seeking a compensation lump sum payment as had been paid as a "lead in" to an agreement in 1995 when the Bank introduced the Control Room and Central Station Monitoring system. £700.00 was paid in 1995.
4. The Union is seeking an appropriate increase in Control Room Guards pay commensurate with their duties in the new control room.
In the context of the completion of the new Security Control Room within Bankcentre, a number of issues were referred to the Court, some of which were related to the new location and others were outstanding issues.
The claims before the Court are as follows: -
(a) Claim for an increase in pay and a lump sum compensation payment for the move to the new control room.
Having considered the submissions of both sides the Court does not accept that the move involves significant and major changes warranting a pay increase or the payment of a lump sum and consequently rejects the Union’s claims. The Court is of the view that the development of the Control Room was encompassed by the terms of the 2002 agreement, which included an 18% pay increase and an increase in shift premium from 33% to 39%.
The Bank indicated to the Court that when the proposed full expansion of the Bankcentre is complete, should there be any impact on the Security Guards’ current terms and conditions of employment or current work practices these will be dealt with in line with normal procedures. The Bank indicated that it has given repeated assurances to the Union in that regard.
Included in the LRC proposals dated 26th October 2005 was a proposal to hold a joint review of grading structure of all security guards. The Court endorses this proposal and recommends that the review take place as proposed – to commence not later than 6 weeks from the date of acceptance of this recommendation.
Furthermore, the Court endorses the paragraph in the proposals which refers to “Any future changes in line with the provisions of existing agreement, will not give rise to any further costs to the bank, other than the cost of additional manpower if deemed appropriate due to increased levels of activity.”
(b) Enhanced Early Retirement Lump Sum
Having considered the Union’s claim, the Court recommends that Clause 3, “Terms of the Enhanced Package” of the Early Retirement Option as set out in the Bank’s position paper dated 31st January 2003 should be improved. The additional ex-gratia lump sum should be increased from a maximum of €20,000 to a maximum of €30,000.
(c) Calculation of Holiday Pay
A proposal on this issue to resolve the outstanding issues between the Bank and the Bank Centre Security Guards was included in the LRC proposal dated 26th October 2005, under the heading AHOP/Lump Sum. It was withdrawn when the proposals were rejected. The Court recommends that it should be reinstated, i.e. from 1st January 2006 treble time payments should be included in AHOP and a lump sum of €1000 should be paid as a once off payment. The Court does not concede the claim for the inclusion in holiday pay of average overtime payments for overtime worked on rostered Public Holidays.
These recommendations are made conditional on full co-operation being given by the Security Guards involved in this claim with all aspects of the move to the new Security Control Room operations and on condition that the recommendations are put to ballot as a composite package in full and final settlement of all the issues referred to the Court.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th March 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.