ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00003912
Complaint(s)/Dispute(s) for Resolution:
Complaint/Dispute Reference No.
Date of Receipt
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969
Date of Adjudication Hearing: 08/11/2016
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Michael McEntee
In accordance with Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969f following the referral of the complaint(s)/dispute(s) to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint(s)/dispute(s) and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint(s)/dispute(s). The Complaint is linked to ADJ 3913.
Summary of Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:
The employer has sought to apply lesser conditions of pay in contravention of previously agreed (and long established) rates applying to work in my position. This is clearly unfair and constitutes a breach of our agreement. The Complainants operated mobile High Rise Hoist equipment primarily at the North City Towers Flats Complex. The complex was decommissioned and largely demolished in recent years. The most significant piece of equipment, the “Bronco” 50 metre mobile hoist was withdrawn from service by the Respondent Council. The Complainant’s rate of pay, including a special overtime allowance, had been put in place in 2004 – to address the particular and almost unique aspects of the Complaints duties i.e. the operation of very large mobile hoists. The Special Overtime arrangement was in effect a means of giving the Complainants an appropriate rate of pay without upsetting established pay norms in the Respondent Council at that time. While the North City Towers “Bronco” hoist is no longer in service the work of operating large hoists still continues ,evidence was cited of other large hoists operated by the Respondent Council, and the allowance is still warranted. The terms of the Public Service Allowances/Overtime Buy Out Compensation Scheme, proposed by the Council, should not apply as the actual work still exists. The allowance, now discontinued, should be reinstated.
Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:
The 2 Complainants in this case were effectively the Bronco High Level Hoist drivers at the Towers Flats complex on the north side of the City. These Towers have been demolished and the need for the Bronco hoist no longer exists. The machine, largely due to its weight, was not suitable for operation in other parts of the City.
It is accepted and acknowledged that the special overtime arrangements associated with this work were regular and rostered. However the Towers work no longer exists. The Respondent Council offered to engage with SIPTU to discuss with the Complainants the possibility of applying the now standard Public Service Compensation Scheme “The one and a half annual loss” formula. The Complainants declined and referred the issues to the WRC.
The Standard Public Service formula clearly applies to this case and to depart from this formula in this case would be unwarranted and create a most undesirable precedent both in the Respondent Council and Local Authorities generally.
Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 requires that I make a decision in this case.
Issues for Decision:
Do the terms of the Standard Overtime “One and half years” scheme apply in this case or have the Complainants established a valid case that the work which gave rise to the Overtime allowance still continues and that the Allowance be reinstated. ?
Legislation involved and requirements of legislation:
Industrial Relations Act, 1969
From the written and oral evidence presented it was clear to me that the special overtime arrangements in this case were inextricably linked to the operation of the Bronco Hoist at the Towers complex. It was a virtually unique piece of very heavy equipment.
The Towers complex has been demolished and the Bronco sold by the Respondent Council.
While it is true that the Respondent Council continues to operate other large but lesser size hoists the basic historical and operations rationale for the special Overtime arrangements no longer exists.
The Public Service “One and one half Years” compensation scheme should apply in this case.
Dated: 12 December 2016