INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
GROUP 4 SECURITY
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Agreed procedures relating to service at The Ryder Cup
2. The Company had the contract to service the ATMs and cash-in-transit at the K Club for the Ryder Cup. A team of 14 personnel were required for the week of the event made up of 12 crew and 2 officers. On Friday, 11th August 2006 a notice was posted by the Company requesting 12 volunteers to work at the Ryder Cup. There were eight replies by the following Monday morning. The proposed start and finish times for the shifts during the event were outside the 06.00 - 22.00 hours period provided for in the Company/Union Agreement. The shop stewards alerted Management to this matter stating that the workers needed to know the shift times and payments on offer before they could volunteer for the event. On Wednesday, 16th August 2006 in a Management discussion it was agreed that a voucher would be provided as an additional incentive. Staff were notified of this the following day and the four remaining positions were filled immediatly. None of the shop stewards were informed of the decision in advance of its announcement to staff.
The parties engaged directly to try and achieve a resolution to the dispute. After no progress could be made the matter was referred to the Labour Relations Commission (LRC). The LRC Conciliation Conference took place on 22nd November 2006. The Company acknowledged that agreed procedures would be adhered to for selecting staff for future special events. The issue of payment of compensation to staff remained in dispute and was referred to the Labour Court.
A Labour Court Hearing took place on 9th March 2007.
3. 1. Management should have consulted with the shop stewards with regard to working and pay arrangements for this unique event. This should have been done prior to advertising for volunteers.
2. By the Company failing to revert to the shop stewards in time, the majority of staff were deprived of the opportunity to work this event and receive the €500 voucher.
3. The procedure adopted for selection of staff for the Ryder Cup undermined the position of the shop stewards. At the LRC conciliation conference the company accepted that it had not adhered to agreed procedures in this instance.
4. 1.The Company services many special events, some of which occur outside normal working arrangements. Given the unique nature of this event and the fact that some staff may have a special interest in golf, it was decided to offer staff the opportunity to volunteer for this work The Company was under pressure of time due to the security arrangements for the event. The process of allowing staff to volunteer was the only way possible and practical in these circumstances.
2. The Company provided an extra payment of a €500 voucher to the 12 volunteers as an incentive to ensure service excellence at this prestigious event. The incentive was linked to specific performance conditions.
3. All staff had the opportunity to volunteer and if selected and unhappy with the working arrangements could withdraw.
The dispute before the Court relates to the Union's claim on behalf of 200 Cash-in -Transit Operatives for compensation for being denied a fair opportunity to volunteer to work the Ryder Cup contract at the K Club in September 2006.
At the conciliation process the Company acknowledged "that agreed procedures will be adhered to in the future for selecting staff to service special events and regrets any upset caused to the shop stewards". The parties agreed to refer the issue of compensation to the Court.
Having consideration the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court notes that there was an agreed procedure in place to cater for arrangements for pay and conditions for special events. However, application of these procedures in the urgent circumstances, which emerged surrounding the security arrangements for the Ryder Cup event, inadvertently gave rise to the Union's grievance. The Court notes that the Company's acknowledgement of the difficulties this posed for the shop stewards involved and its confirmation that the arrangements are in place to ensure it does not happen in the future. In the circumstances, the Court does not find in favour of the claim to pay compensation to the Cash-in-Transit Operatives and accordingly rejects the Union's claim.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
29th March 2007______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.