SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
200 DRIVERS, DRIVERS HELPERS AND WAREHOUSE OPERATIVES
(REPRESENTED BY CWU)
1.Pay Claim for 2020.
2. The Employer agreed to refer the matter to the Labour Court for clarification.
3. The agreement between the parties provides for a new shortened incremental scale, a 2.75% pay increase for most staff who are on points below the top of the scale and for increases of 2.25% for staff whose pay is above the maximum point applicable to them. Due to the shortening of the scale, there are 88 members of staff in receipt of pay that is above the appropriate point of the pay scale applicable to them. The correct increase applicable to them is 2.25%.
The Court notes that an excellent agreement that is fair to all parties was reached after protracted negotiations and accepts that both parties approached these discussions in good faith.
It is regrettable that some of the specifics of the agreement gave rise to a divergence in understanding as to the agreement’s application and the Court hopes that this will not damage the future relationship between the parties.
There was one specific issue put before the Court for clarification. The Court approached the issue on the basis that it was not being asked to offer any comment on the merits or otherwise of the particular provision but, rather, simply to give an interpretation as to its meaning. On that basis alone, it seems to the Court that a reasonable interpretation of the language used in the agreement suggests, at face value, that there is one maximum on a pay scale and that is the top point of the scale. This concurs with the view expressed to the Court by the Union.
The Court recommends that the Employer should apply the agreement in accordance with this interpretation. The Court recommends further that in the negotiation of future agreements the parties should ensure that there is mutual understanding of, and agreement on, all details of the application of specific provisions for the avoidance of a recurrence of the circumstances of this case.
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Therese Hickey, Court Secretary.