INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
S2(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2001,
AS AMENDED BY THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS(MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT, 2004
JIGSAW DAY NURSERY LTD
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Referral from the Labour Relations Commission under the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act, 2001, as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004.
2. The issues in dispute which concern a number of workers who are union members are as follows:
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures; and
The Union sought a meeting with the Company to discuss these issues but the Company declined to meet the Union. The issues in dispute were referred to the Advisory Service of the Labour Relations Commission under the provisions of the Enhanced Code of Practice on Voluntary Dispute Resolution (S.I. 76 of 2004). Both parties engaged in the process but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 22nd September, 2006, in accordance with Section 2 of the Industrial Relations (Amendment Act) Act, 2001, as amended by the Industrial Relations (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004. A Court hearing was held on the 22nd November, 2006.
3.. 1.Pay.The Union is seeking an increase in the rate of pay, currently ranging from €7.66 per hour to €8.30 per hour in respect of Child-Care workers and €8.65 per hour to €9.33 per hour for Room Supervisor. The increase sought, to reflect the level and experience and qualification of workers, would be in line with that recommended by the Court in LCR 18601 and other similar Recommendations, adjusted by National Wage Agreement increases.
2.Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures.The Union is seeking agreed Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures in line with S.I.146 of 2000 that allows for union representation.
3.Medical Certificates.The Sick Pay Scheme is out of line with national norms, paying only 10 days in total per annum. However, it does pay from the first day's absence. The Claimants are content at this time with the scheme but if workers are absent for more than one day they must provide medical certification. This requires a visit to a doctor and associated cost, approximately €60, which in some cases exceeds a day's pay. The Union is seeking reimbursement of the doctor's fee on production of a medical certificate.
4. 1.Pay. The Company's pay and conditions are not out of line with other comparable employments. The hourly rate paid by the Company to Child-Care Workers ranges from €7.76 in year one to €9.20 in year six and from €8.65 to €10.71 for a Supervisor. In addition the Company has in operation a yearly Bonus Scheme based on occupancy levels which provides for an additional €0.27 per hour for the period July, 2006 to July, 2007. The Company's pay rates are in excess of those paid by the only other unionised Child-Care Centre in Waterford of which the Company is aware. The imposition of any additional costs will cause severe financial difficulties and put the jobs at risk.
2.Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures.The Company's Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures are in keeping with good practice and comply with the requirements of S.I. 146 of 2000.
3.Medical Certificates.The Company cannot sustain the cost of paying for employee medical certificates. Also it is not the norm in this or in any other sector to do so.
The Court is satisfied that this case is properly before it and falls within the terms of the Act. The Court accordingly recommends as follows:
The following basic hourly rates should apply:-
On start €8.65
Level 2 €8.90
Level 3 €9.21
On start € 9.65
Level 2 € 9.98
Level 3 €10.36
These rates should apply with effect from 1st January, 2007.
The first phase of Towards 2016 should apply to these rates from the same date.
Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures
The Union claimed that the current internal procedures for the processing of issues relating to individual grievance and disciplinary matters are inadequate in that they do not provide for representation of employees by a trade union in appropriate cases.
The Court recommends that the employer put in place disciplinary and grievance procedures which conform with the general provisions of the Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures (S.I. No 146 of 2000) and in particular that appropriate provision be made for representation by an employee representative as defined in paragraph 4.4 of the Code.
Any dispute on this issue should be processed through the procedures provided for in Section 43 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
The Court does not recommend concession of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
1st February, 2007
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.