INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Withdrawal of Two Concession Days Leave.
2. This case concerns a dispute betwen IMPACT, SIPTU and the Galway Association in relation to the withdrawl of two concessionary days leave. The Galway Association was established in 1962 and provides services for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Certain staff of the association have traditionally received concessionary leave for the organisation and attendance at the association's sports day.
An additional days discretionary leave was also applied to be taken in 2004 in recognition of efforts made by staff in 2003. In 2004 a review of annual leave arrangements within the association resulted in the days being discontinued and annual leave arrangements brought in line with statutory entitlements.
The Union's position is that discontinuing the concessionary/discretionary leave meant that workers were being disadvantaged as this had become custom and practice within the organisation for in excess of 20 years.
Management's position is thatmany workers benefited as a result of the change in annual leave arrangements and those who would have lost out maintained the higher entitlement on a personal to holder basis. Management also maintain that improvements in annual leave and pay rates has increased their costs at a time when no additional funding or resources are available.
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 matter was referred to the Labour Court on15th June 2006 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 4th October 2006, the earliest days suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The concessionary/discretionary leave has been a long established custom and practice within the organisation. The sports day has been replaced by a "fun day" which allows more staff and users of the service to attend. In this regard it is unfair that the additional leave to attend these functions is unilaterally withdrawn by management
2. Increases in annual leave have been applied as a result of National Agreements and are funded centrally on that basis. Other organisations benifited from concessionary leave as wel as nationally agreed increases in annual leave.
4 1. There is no justification for continuation of discretionary leave as the sports day for which it was provided, no longer exists. In addition, there have been increases in rates of pay and annual leave entitlements also.
2. The increased annual leave entitlement and wage rates will result in additional costs which must be sustained by the association at timewhen no additional funding or resources are available.
The Court recommends that one concessionary day be retained. The Court further recommends that the parties should negotiate and agree criteria against which this concession day will be granted.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd October 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.