SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
|Employer Member:||Ms Connolly|
|Worker Member:||Mr Hall|
1.Restoration of Allowance
2.This 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 19 July 2019 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 23 September 2020.
3. 1. The Union’s claim relates to allowances for Saturday and Sunday work, which were reduced in 2010, in accordance with FEMPI legislation. These allowances should have been restored in line with the restoration in basic pay under the terms of the Public Service Stability Agreement. The Employer refused to restore any portion of the allowances until 1 October 2020.
2. The historical origin of these allowances is a percentage of pay and the nature of these payments are intrinsic to pay in that they represent a payment for Saturday and Sunday work, hence the value of working these two days has been reduced, and not restored significantly.
3. The Union states the uncontested fact that these allowances attracted all national pay increases and the FEMPI pay cuts and cites the definition of "pensionable pay" in Section 29(1) of the Public Service and Pay Pensions Act 2017. Therefore, the allowances should have been restored on each occasion and at the same rate that basic pay was restored under the Public Service Stability Agreement.
4. The Union asks the Court to recommend in the Union's favour.
4. 1. The Employer states they are not in a position to depart from the provisions of the legislation on public service pay. Each of the increases since 2010 has been sanctioned for payment by the Minister for Education and Skills in accordance with relevant Universities' legislation and the letters of sanction have not provided for any increase in fixed allowances.
2. The Employer states the provisions of the legislation apply not only to UCC staff but to all public servants and this claim is precluded by paragraph 8.3.1 of the PSSA 2018-2020 in relation to no cost increasing claims.
3.The Employerrespectfully requests the Court to uphold, in its Recommendation, the Employer's position.
This Court has stated consistently that it will uphold the terms of the Public Service Stability Agreement. This Agreement differentiates between allowances that are expressed as a percentage of pay and allowances that are expressed as amounts of money.
In respect of the latter category, the 5% reduction applied in 2010 under FEMPI legislation will be restored on 1 October 2020. Whatever about arguments as to their genesis, the allowances in question are for fixed amounts and fall due to be restored, in accordance with the Agreement, on 1 October 2020. The Court is unable to recommend any variation to this application of the Agreement.
|Signed on behalf of the Labour Court|
|23 September 2020||Deputy Chairman|
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Therese Hickey, Court Secretary.