INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
HEALTH SERVICES EXECUTIVE (HSE) - WESTERN AREA
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Application of terms of Parallel Benchmarking.
2. The claim relates to 62 workshop instructors working in the Western Area of the HSE. They are seeking the application of the terms of the Parallel Benchmarking bonus terms applied to the craftworkers. Specifically they are seeking the bonus payment of €888.82 (£700) to be provided to them as outlined in Labour Court Recommendation LCR 17617 dated the 6th October, 2003.
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 14th October, 2005 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the, 15th March, 2006.
3.1 The legislation defines pay as all income association with work included allowances, emoluments etc. On this basis the Union contends that Instructors are entitled to the bonus allowance.
2. In correspondence from the HSEA dated 26th November, 2003 the Union were advised that "this group will be paid in accordance with the deal recently concluded in respect of craft grades"The HSE are still refusing to honour the full terms of Labour Court Recommendation LCR 17617.
3.Instructors in the HSE West have endeavoured to progress within the craft structure following Labour Court Recommendation LCR14565 issued on 12th October, 1994 which stated Instructors should not be paid on a par with their colleagues in the Midland and North West Health Boards but should continue to be paid at craft rates plus 12.5% or 25% depending on the level of training being delivered.
4. In recent years craft workers have done reasonable well out of analogue system and this has been reflected in the pro rata increase of Instructors pay.Instructors have been compelled to remain within the craft structure when there were no tangible benefits arising out of the analogue review. In previous Labour Court hearings employers insisted that Instructors should be linked to craft workers. Instructors feel that employers cannot have it both ways and should now honour their obligations and commitments.
4.1 To grant the payment of the allowance to the instructors on the basis of their pay link would be inappropriate and will lead to a far more significant claim on behalf of the support staff in the health services.
2. The current rate of pay for instructors in the HSE West is that of chargehand plus 25% which is in excess of the agreed national rate and the Union are now seeking a further inappropriate enhancement to this arrangement which will have knock-on implications for other staff.
3. The instructors base their claim on the basis of their pay linkage. They have received their entitlements with regard to this link i.e. 17.02% under the parallel benchmarking agreement.
4. During the course of discussions in 2004 and in finalising the agreement the issue of this allowance did not surface at any stage and the Union were willing to sign up to the terms of the agreement which has now been implemented in full.
5. The payment of the allowance was and is unique to craftworkers comprehended by the Parallel Benchmarking Agreement.
This case concerns the Union's claim for the application of a Craftsmen Bonus/Tool Allowance, to Workshop Instructors. This allowance was agreed under the Craftsworker’s Analogue Agreement and is paid to grades covered within the agreement, on a phased basis in line with Benchmarking awards.
Historically, instructors have been linked to craft grades for pay purposes. In 2004 a comprehensive agreement was reached with regard to the pay rates and linkages of instructor grades. This agreement confirmed that instructors will retain their pay linkage on a “red circled” basis.
The employer rejects the claim and held that the payment of the allowances is unique to craftworkers comprehended by the Parallel Benckmarking agreement and does not extend beyond that.
Having examined the details of this claim and the detail of the Parallel Benchmarking exercise on the allowance, the Court is satisfied the latter states that the allowance is payable only to the grades covered within the craft grades i.e. Craftsworker, Craftsworkers Mate, Ganger, Assistant Foreman, and Foremen. It also stated that it is not payable to any other grades even those who are analogous to craft grades for pay relationship purposes. Accordingly, the Court does not find in favour of the extension of the allowance to the Workshop Instructors.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th April, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.