INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Pension Scheme
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Company and Unions in relation to the application of Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC's) which the Company apply to shift workers. The pension contributions paid by each shift worker is matched by the Company and amounts to 6% of shift allowance. The Union is seeking a similar arrangement for its members with retrospection to January 1999 on the basis that they work outside normal working hours and are subject to a mandatory Rostered Stand-by/ Call Out.
The Company reject the claim on the basis that its Pension Scheme is not out of line with industry norms and that it is a cost increasing claim precluded under Sustaining Progress.
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 27th September 2005 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 3rd May 2006, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The Craftsmen in question operate outside normal working hours and are subject to mandatory Rostered Stand-by/ Call Out. It is inappropriate
that these staff members be treated less favourably than their co-workers.
2 Sustaining Progress does not preclude seeking improvements in Pension entitlements. The Company is highly profitable and could well afford the changes sought.
4. 1. The Claim is cost increasing and precluded under Sustaining Progress
2. The payment for Stand-by is a compensatory payment for being available for work should the need arise, not for actual time worked.Overtime payments are paid when a worker is called out outside of normal working hours. Such payments are not reckonable for pension purposes.
3. If the Unions members were shift workers, the same provisions would also apply to them.
The Court does not accept that stand-by/call-out payment can be equated with shift pay. Accordingly the Court could not recommend concession of the Unions' claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th May 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.