INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Review of pay.
2. The claim before the Court involves 17.5 Quality Control (QC's) personnel working for Tyco Healthcare, Mallinckrodt base in Athlone. The Union is seeking a pay review based on increased productivity output to provide the workers with a 20% increase in their basic wage. This increase is linked to seeking a parity with the machine setters grade within this location. The Union maintains that this is a valid claim and that the Company is not attempting to deal in any meaningful way with the case claim made on behalf of the workers. The Company rejects the Union's claim
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 6th September, 2006 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th February, 2007.
3.1 The role of the QC and the responsibility which attach to their jobs has changed over the years. This is not reflected in their pay or the esteem they are held in by their employer.
2 The volume of work performed by QC's is increasing year by year, i.e. in 2003 the average order was 348, in 2005 it was 383.
3. The Union contends that in recent months the QC's were instructed to train operators in some aspects of their job. This is perceived as an attempt by the Company to undermine some of the basis on which the claim is based and the Union wrote to the Company in this regard in January 2007.
4.1 The Company argued that the National Pay Deals provide for ongoing co-operation with normal ongoing change, which is the case here. The Company stated that while they have fortunately experienced increased volumes of 12% throughout the plant, this has been accompanied by an increased head count in the quality control group from 12 employees in January 2002 to the present of 17.5 which would represent a 46% increase in head count.
2. In 1999 the Company agreed to pay in excess of the then Partnership Agreement in the order of 8%. This was awarded to two grades only within the organisation including the Quality Control Group.
3. This claim, if conceded, would have follow on and knock on claims from the Operator Group.
4. The job of quality controller has not changed since the Company started in 1982 apart from normal ongoing change in technology, reflected in some of the equipment they use.
Having considered the submissions made by the parties, the Court recommends that a job evaluation exercise should take place, comparing the QC operatives' work to that of the basic machine setter (M1). This should be carried out by an agreed independent expert, whose report should be accepted and implemented by both sides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
22nd February, 2007______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.