Irish Water staff challenge ban on bonus payments

Minister urged management not to make payments worth up to 15% of salary

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has urged Irish Water management not to proceed with  the payment of performance related pay.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has urged Irish Water management not to proceed with the payment of performance related pay.

 

Staff at Irish Water are challenging the company on its decision not to pay performance related awards.

Workers at the company had been in line for performance-related bonuses of up to 15 per cent but the board has decided not to proceed.

Unions and management at the firm are now set for the Labour Relations Commission on July 13th in a bid to resolve the row.

Adrian Kane of Siptu said Irish Water workers were “very angry” they were not being paid what they had earned.

Mr Kane said: “I don’t think there has been any consistent position from the company other than decision has been made at board level that it wasn’t appropriate to pay performance related awards at this time.

“Money had been set aside for the payment of it. We had been informed of that by the company.”

Irish Water was due to distribute performance-related payments to its workers this year but Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has urged management not to proceed with the plans.

Under the arrangement, 50 staff members were in line for a 2.75 per cent bonus, 165 a 6.5 per cent pay out, 65 could get a 14 per cent bonus and the top 29 will get a 15 per cent on top of their salaries.

In a statement, Irish Water said: “As a result of a management decision not to pay performance related awards in Irish Water for 2013 and 2014, the Ervia Group of Unions have referred the matter to the Labour Relations Commission.

“Management have agreed to attend a Conciliation Conference at the LRC on July, 13th.”

The bonus payments were introduced as part of a new pay model at Ervia in 2013 and Irish Water inherited that scheme when it was set up.

Irish Water has insisted the payments are not a traditional bonus but instead a “pay at risk” element of their salaries.

Unions say the performance related awards were a key element of the contract agreed between them and the company in 2013.