SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
TECHNICAL, ENGINEERING AND ELECTRICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. PCI Related Issues.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Employer and the Union on behalf of its members employed in craft worker roles within the Company. The dispute relates specifically to issues surrounding the terms of the proposed comprehensive agreement on Pay, Conditions and Integration (PCI).The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 23rd December, 2016 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th January, 2016.The following is the Recommendation of the Court:
The Court has given very careful consideration to the extensive written and oral submissions of both parties to this dispute.
The Court notes the complex nature of the negotiating structures within the Company. The Court also notes that the Pay Conditions and Integration (PCI) Agreement has now been in operation for 4500 Company employees since 5 July 2016. The Court is told that any alteration to the terms of the Agreement for any group of workers will destabilise the entire pay bargaining structure within the Company. Finally the Court is told that the Company is operating in a highly regulated and competitive market and needs a sufficient level of operating profitability to continue to meet its capital investment requirements.
The Court further notes that the TEEU has raised a number of issues that are of considerable concern to its members. It seeks, through the agreed procedures, to have these important matters resolved to its satisfaction. To date it has not been in a position to find resolution in direct discussions with the Company or through the use of third party facilitators. However it did stress its good and long standing relations with the Company and its desire to go forward in a constructive manner.
Examining the terms of the PCI Agreement the Court notes that the parties are scheduled to engage again in September 2018 The Court notes that the relevant section goes on to state
“It will also take account of any other factor the parties may bring forward as relevant at the time, e.g. company financial position, national / sectoral agreements, CPI competitive challenges and prevailing market norms. The parties accept that their agreements may contain differential provisions as they might agree at any time.”
In this context, and noting that a significant number of the issues raised are not time critical, the Court recommends that the Union accept the terms of the PCI Agreement as applied to all other grades of staff , including both the date of application of the agreed pay increases and the pay restoration provisions as set out therein. It further recommends that the Unions review the operation of the Agreement over the next 18 months and bring forward whatever amendments to the Agreement they consider appropriate for discussions with the Company in the September 2018 review.
The Court so recommends.
In light of this recommendation the Court expresses no view on the merits of the individual issues raised by the TEEU. The Court however will, if requested by the parties through their procedures, make itself available to investigate any matters arising out of the 2018 discussions.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24rd January 2017______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.