INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
EMERALD CULTURAL INSTITUTE
(REPRESENTED BY MSS)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Terms and Conditions of Employment
2. This case concerns a dispute between SIPTU and Emerald Cultural Institute (represented by MSS) in relation to terms and condition of employment. The Union is seeking enhanced terms and conditions of employment on behalf of four of its members currently employed as English language teachers at the Institute.
Its main issues are full-time indefinite term contracts, working week, remuneration, health insurance, pension provision, holidays, sick leave scheme, compassionate leave, maternity/paternity leave, leave of absence, part-time employees and redundancy.
The Employer rejects the claim in its entirety on the basis that it would be extremely cost increasing on the business and if allowed to proceed, would result in its inability to sustain competitiveness within the industry.
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 25th February 2010, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on July 15th, 2010.
1. The Union on behalf of its members is seeking improved terms and conditions and contends that its members are currently working with extremely poor terms and conditions in relation to those of their comparators.
1. The extent of the claims presented by the Union is unrealistic and theEmployer is not in a financial position to pay any such claim. The Employer has previously made improvements to employee's benefits, however they are rejecting this claim outright.
2. The number of Union members within the organisation represents a minority of the workforce as a whole. The Employer contends that the Union is not within its rights to pursue this claim and furthermore the majority of staff accept the current terms and conditions of employment.
The dispute before the Court is a follow-on to Labour Court Recommendation No: 19599 concerning the Union’s claim for improvements in terms and conditions of employment for its teaching members at the Institute.
The Court recommends the following on the outstanding issues:
Rates of Pay
The Institute outlined its proposals on a new pay scale for the claimants at Appendix 3 of its submissions to the Court. Having considered all aspects of the submissions made by both parties, the Court recommends that that this pay scale should be accepted and implemented with immediate effect. Furthermore, the Court recommends that the pay scale should be further reviewed in January 2011 in light of the commercial circumstances of the Institute and the general economy at the time.
Hours of Work
The Institute informed the Court that it had introduced standardised working hours arrangements whereby workers would either be on a full-time contract (guaranteed 30 hours per week) or a part-time contract (guaranteed 20 hours per week) or on a casual basis (agreed between the worker and the employer to suit the needs of both). In addition, extra hours may become available from time to time as required and suitable to both sides. The Court recommends that this arrangement should be formalised and accepted by the Union on behalf of its members.
The Court recommends that a defined contribution pension scheme be introduced. There should be a contribution of 4% payable by the Institute and a further 4% payable by the employee. The scheme should be finalised within six months of the date of this Recommendation.
Sick Pay Scheme
The Court recommends that the Company should introduce a formal sick pay scheme allowing for 4 weeks’ sick pay (less Social Welfare) per year, provided employees have completed one year’s service. There should be no pay for the first 3 days of absence.
Annual Leave Entitlements
The Court recommends that full time employees should be entitled to 20 days per annum and for those working less than 30 hours per week they should be entitled to pro-rata annual leave entitlements.
The Court does not recommend in favour of the Union’s claim for seven days compassionate leave per annum. Instead the Court accepts as reasonable the Company position that it will decide each case on its merits in line with the practice applying in industry generally. The Court recommends that the Union should accept this proposal.
The Union sought two weeks pay per year of service Maternity or Paternity Leave benefit. The Court does not recommend in favour of payment for over and above the statutory benefits and therefore rejects the Union’s claim.
Leave Of Absence
The Court does not recommend in favour of the Union’s claim for the introduction of a formal entitlement to leave of absence of up to 12 months for those with greater than 2 year’s service and accordingly rejects the Union’s claim.
The Union sought an exgratia redundancy payment of six week’s pay per year of service plus statutory entitlements in the event that employees were to be made redundant at any point in the future. The Court rejects the Union’s claim as inappropriate in the circumstances.
The Union sought that part-time workers should be treated on a pro-rata basis as full-time teachers in respect of all terms and conditions of employment. The Court notes the Institute’s commitment to ensure that employees are not discriminated against.
With the acceptance of this Recommendation the Court recommends that the Institute should issue revised contracts of employment to incorporate the above-mentioned recommendations and should be issued by 1st September 2010.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th August 2010______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.