INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 7, INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Ms Cryan
Worker Member: Mr McCarthy
1. Breach of collective agreements.
2. This case, which was referred by both parties to the Court on 26th May, 2014 under Section 7 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969, concerns a dispute over the interpretation of a collective agreement. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17th July, 2014.
3 1 Both parties negotiated and signed a written collective agreement.
2 The wording of this collective agreement is clear and unambiguous.
3 The Company must abide by the terms of the collective agreement.
4 1 The Company does not dispute what the collective agreement actually says.
2 The Company does not, however, believe the wording accurately reflects the intention of the agreement.
3. The collective agreement, therefore, should not be strictly interpreted.
The parties have asked the Court to interpret the following clause contained in the Alternative to Outsourcing Agreement 2008 concluded under the auspices of the LRC: -
- 'On promotion staff move to the second point of appropriate new Team Member scales, or the first point of the supervisor scale.'
The Union argues that the wording of the clause is clear and unambiguous and should be applied as written. Management argues that the intentions of the parties are not captured by the wording of the clause and that it should be read to reflect those intentions rather than be applied as written without reference to the context in which the agreement was concluded.
The Court has given careful consideration to the extensive written and oral the submissions of both parties to this interpretation request.
The Court finds that the wording of the clause is clear and unambiguous and its application does not produce an absurd result. Accordingly the Court decides that the clause should be interpreted and applied as written.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th August, 2014______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Jonathan McCabe, Court Secretary.