Dublin City Council staff must work extra hour a week

Around 4,000 members of Impact and Siptu at Dublin City Council will now have to work one hour more each week after losing their “banking hour”.

Dublin City Council staff must work extra hour a week

It follows the Labour Court, in a binding decision, recommending the abolition of the banking hour as there is no longer any justification for it.

Mark Fielding, the chief executive of the small firms body Isme, said yesterday that in the age of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), ATMs, smart cards, payments by phone and credit cards, workers taking time off work to bank “beggars belief and is ridiculous”.

The abolition of the hour was opposed by Siptu and Impact and the dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference at the Labour Relations Commission. It could not be resolved there resulting in the dispute going to the Labour Court.

According to the Labour Court report, Siptu and Impact argued that workers do not accept “Bank Time”, which is now an established condition of employment, can be unilaterally withdrawn by management.

They say the bank hour time off was introduced at a time when salary payments were to be made by EFT instead of by traditional means and has now become an established condition of employment.

The unions argued that the hour should be retained as it was introduced as part of the negotiations around the Paypath or EFT.

The city council argued the provision “is unnecessary and inappropriate given the wide range of available banking services to clients”.

In its recommendation, the Labour Court said: “It is clear that there have been significant and material changes in banking services and practices since bank time was first introduced.”

The court added: “In these circumstances it is not unreasonable for the council to seek the cessation of that concession.”

Peter Nolan, the national secretary of Impact’s Local Government Division, said: “Employers got the hour back without any dispute or disruption.

“This simply would not have happened without Croke Park/Haddington Road Agreement. This demonstrates the benefit of the Labour Court having the final say on these issues.”

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