INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL
(REPRESENTED BY LGMSB)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Ms Cryan
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Claim for disturbance monies.
2. In 2008 a decision was taken to close the Borough Council's swimming pool in Kilkenny City due to its poor condition, financial difficulty and the fact that another more modern facility was developed by a public/private partnership group in nearby Scanlon Park known locally as the Watershed. Five of the pool Workers decided to stay on the Council's payroll and were moved to various alternative positions and are seeking the payment to them of disturbance money. Only one pool Worker moved to the new pool complex under the Transfer of Undertaking's rule and is no longer employed by the Council.. The Council's position is that they consider the claim to be unjustified in the light of agreements entered into by both parties.
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 29th July, 2009, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th September, 2010.
3. 1. There is a direct precedent from last year when the Callan Council depot was closed and the Workers were paid disturbance money for moving a few hundred yards up the road.
2. The Workers were not given a realistic option as suggested, their termsand conditions of employment could not be guaranteed beyond a year and most importantly of all their pension entitlements would be adversely affected if they moved to the new complex..
4. 1. The claim falls squarely under the terms of the current Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 and therefore is preclude as it is a cost increasing claim.
2. The Workers concerned were not significantly inconvenienced in any way by the changes, all had the option to transfer to the newpool and those who decided to stay with the Council received a pay increase.
Having carefully considered the submissions of both parties in this case the Court is satisfied that this entire process involved considerable upheaval for the staff involved and would have benefited from an earlier and more comprehensive consultative process.
The Court, however, is not satisfied that the compensation claimed by the workers involved is warranted in this case. All of the workers concerned were given an option to transfer to the new facility under the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations and in addition were offered a number of alternative employment options within the Council. Furthermore all members of staff received a pay increase as a result of their redeployment within the Council.
In those circumstances the Court rejects the Union’s claim.
The Court so Recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th October, 2010______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to John Foley, Court Secretary.