INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
IRISH LEAGUE OF CREDIT UNIONS
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Pension Scheme Terms.
2. The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) is the leading trade and representative body for Credit Unions in Ireland and membership comprises of approximately 430 Credit Unions in the Republic of Ireland. The ILCU operates a Defined Benefit Pension Scheme (DB). The original scheme started on 1st March 1974 and was transferred to the current scheme on 1st March 1994. In 2002 the Pensions Scheme members sought additional benefits. As part of a comprehensive review, benefits were enhanced and brought into line with benefits applicable in comparable good defined schemes. As part of this process all members agreed individually to increase their contribution from 5% to 5.4%. Individual contracts were updated to reflect this change. This dispute concerns approximately 32 members working at the ILCU at Dublin. The ILCU is seeking an increase of 2.7% in Pension contributions, 2% to be borne by members and .7% by the ILCU. The Union has rejected this and are seeking the full amount 2.7% to be paid by the ILCU.
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 16th May, 2006 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 29th August, 2006.
3.1 The employee rate of contribution to the ILCU Pension Scheme is enshrined in individual contracts.
2. The Union argued that the contract rate could not be increased unilaterally without the individual consent of all members of the Pension Scheme.
3. The Union contends that the full of 2.7% should be borne by the ILCU and further contends that this increase would not place an undue burden on the finances of the Credit Union League.
4.1 The ILCU's actions have been motivated at all times by their recognition of the need for responsible and prudent governance of the existing investment in the Pension Scheme and to protect it into the future to ensure its survival.
2. The ILCU has acted in good faith in an attempt to protect the investment in the scheme and to secure the best available benefits on retirement for employees in the Pension Scheme.
3. The ILCU aspire and intend to keep the DB Pension Scheme preserved, however, this involves commitment and dedication from both parties to the employment relationship. The ILCU wish to maintain this scheme but need cooperation from employees to do so and will also need financial contributions from employees.
4. The proposed increased contribution of 2% from the employees is fair, equitable and wholly reasonable in the context of the total required increase in funding of 7.5% since 1st March 2004.
The Court notes that the Management wishes to preserve the existing Defined Benefit Scheme and that the Union also wishes to retain it.
Given this accord, the Court would expect that the parties would engage meaningfully (with the assistance of an IRO if necessary) with a view to reaching consensus on the apportionment of the required 2.7% increase.
If no agreement can be reached by 15th October 2006, the Court will on the application of the parties, make a definitive recommendation on the matter.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th September, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.