INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TRANSDEV DUBLIN LIGHT RAIL
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Ms Cryan
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Collective Agreement Negotiations
2. This case concerns a dispute between the parties in relation to issues surrounding the negotiation of a collective agreement. The dispute was not resolved at local level and was the subject of a number of conciliation conferences under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached the matter was referred to the Labour Court on 29th July 2015 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. Labour Court hearings took place on 28th September 2015 and 25th November 2015.
3 1 The Union has attempted to engage with Management on the issues in dispute over a long period of time. Management has continually claimed that it cannot meet the costs of the claims as presented. The Union is willing to negotiate on the issues but cannot accept Management's offer that its only option is to apply increases based solely on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The Union members associated with this claim are in receipt of less favourable terms and conditions of employment than those employed in comparable organisations and expect that Management will enter into meaningful discussions with the Union to resolve the current dispute.
4 1The Union's claims are of a completely unreasonable quantum and cannot possibly be conceded or even considered on the basis of the associated costs. Given the Union's position meaningful negotiations/ discussions have not yet taken place. Management accepts, however, that there is a possibility for exploration of the issues and some movement on its part in relation to the Union's claim.
The matter before the Court concerns a dispute between the parties over a new Collective Agreement. The dispute has been the subject of discussions at numerous conciliation conferences and the in-house disputes resolution procedure. The Internal Disputes Tribunal found as follows:-
- “The Tribunal notes that under Stage 4 of the Procedures, it is now open to the parties, to jointly ask the Labour Relations to re-convene with a view to referring the matter as a dispute to the Labour Court for a formal hearing and recommendation.”
Following a further conciliation conference the matters in dispute remained unresolved and were jointly referred to the Court. At the hearing on 29thSeptember 2015 the Court indicated to the parties that it was not in a position to progress the case as it appeared that no meaningful engagement had taken place on the multiplicity of cost increasing claims before it. The Court directed the parties to seek independent financial expertise to assess the Company’s financial position, and to assess the costings associated with each element of the Union’s claim.
This joint exercise was completed by Mazars and a report was furnished to the Court on 6thNovember 2015. The parties sought to return to the Court.
The Court held a further hearing on 25thNovember 2015.
Having considered the position of both parties, the Court notes the Company’s willingness to engage in discussions on resolving this dispute. The Union informed the Court that it was prepared to negotiate on the claims submitted to the Company.
On that basis the Court recommends that both parties should enter into realistic and meaningful negotiations under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission on the issues in dispute. The Mazars report should provide a context for the parties to engage in these discussions.
The Court recommends that these discussions should be completed within four weeks from the date of this Recommendation and should be conducted with a view to finding a final resolution to the issues in dispute.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th December 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.