INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
WYETH NUTRITIONALS IRELAND LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IBEC)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Haugh
Employer Member: Mr Marie
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Manning Levels / Staffing.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Employer and the Union in relation to the application of a Company/Union agreement established in 2004 which encompasses manning levels in the Microbiology Laboratory. The agreement states that if a temporary position exceeds a period of twelve months it must then be advertised on a permanent basis. In July 2013 as a result of increased workload in the microbiology laboratory it was agreed between the Company and the Union to deploy an additional resource into this area on a temporary basis. However, the role was filled for a period in excess of twelve months. The Union raised the issue with the Company and sought permanent advertising of the position in line with the 2004 agreement. The Employer rejects the Union's position arguing that it had no permanent requirement or budgetary resource for additional headcount in this area of its operations.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 18th December, 2015, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th April, 2016.
3. 1. The Company/Union agreement was established in 2004 and is still in existence at present. The Union maintains that the agreement must be upheld at all times.
2. The Union, in line with the terms of the agreement, is seeking a permanent appointment into the position which was filled by an additional resource for a period in excess of twelve months.
4. 1. The Employer contends that it is not within its budgetary constraints to appoint an additional resource into the laboratory.
2. The Employer further contends that it has the capacity within its core staff to fulfil additional requirements in this area.
The Programme for Change/Red Book details a collective agreement negotiated in 2004 between the Union and the Respondent in respect of the Laboratory Technical Group. This agreement remains in place and neither party seeks to amend it at present.
The 2004 agreement contains the following provision:
- “In respect of temporary positions that are created for reasons other than illness cover, these positions will not last longer than 12 months, when the position will be advertised on a permanent basis.”
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Court recommends that the parties engage in a three-month pilot with a view to reaching agreement about the feasibility or otherwise of the integration of the in-line sampling and testing role into the core laboratory process.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th May 2016______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.