Author Archives: mandatetradeunion

Update on Banded Hours applications

12th June 2019

To: All Dunnes Stores Members

From: Gerry Light, Assistant General Secretary

Re: Update regarding banded hours

As you are aware over 1,500 fellow members in Dunnes Stores submitted requests to the Company to be placed on a band of weekly working hours. In the main, feedback has been generally positive with many members being placed properly on a weekly band of hours however there are a number of issues that remain and the primary ones are outlined below.

It is important to note that many members have been raising grievances regarding their banded hour requests with the guidance of their shop stewards & Union officials to both local store management and to Dunnes head office and in most cases have managed to get issues resolved. Therefore, if you have a query and/or an unresolved issue regarding your banded hour request don’t hesitate to contact your shop steward or local Mandate office.

  1. Members claim they are being prohibited from being offered additional weekly hours

It appears that some members continue to be told by local store management that as a consequence of being placed on a band of weekly hours they will never be offered additional hours in excess of the top point of their band. Furthermore, they are being told that when such hours become available they will be offered to staff who have not made a request for a weekly band of hours. Your union firmly believes this type of action by store management could amount to penalisation which is strictly prohibited in the legislation and we will support any member who wishes to make a claim against this type of treatment. The union has also written to Dunnes Head of HR, Sandra Buckley, regarding this situation. (Copy of Letter here)  

  1. My paid working hours are less than my agreed band

In some instances members have claimed that their working hours, that is the actual hours they are paid for, are falling below the weekly hourly band which was agreed. In some cases local store management are claiming that they are including the break time towards the weekly hourly band. This should not happen. The legislation stipulates that weekly bands cover the ‘working’ hours which is not break time. If you have encountered this situation don’t hesitate to contact your shop steward or local Mandate office for assistance.

  1. The band of weekly hours calculated appears to have been calculated incorrectly  

If you believe that the band of hours that has been calculated by the company is incorrect, you can still request details as to how your figures were arrived at even if you initially agreed to your current band. It is good to have a clear calculation of your own weekly hours average during the previous 12 months from the date your request was submitted. If you need guidance in how to do this and how to raise a grievance please contact your shop steward or local Mandate office.

  1. I still do not have written confirmation of my new weekly band of hours

Once your band of hours is agreed and accepted by you, you are entitled to receive a written statement which confirms or reflects your new band of weekly working hours. This is normally in the form of letter or a statement from the company confirming the amendment of your working hours to your terms of employment. The company must confirm the change in writing within one month. If you still do not receive written confirmation contact your Mandate office for assistance.

Dunnes workers’ Banded Hours Update – your questions answered

15th April 2019

To: All Dunnes Stores Members

From: Gerry Light, Assistant General Secretary

Re: Banded Hours Requests

Since we submitted over 1,500 individual requests to the Company for banded hour adjustments Dunnes members have been receiving confirmation back from management. There are a number of concerns that have been raised by members which we would like to help address below. If you have any additional queries please do not hesitate to contact your shop steward or local Mandate office.

  1. Band of weekly hours calculated appears to be incorrect

If you believe that the band of hours that has been calculated by the company is incorrect, you should request details as to how the figures were arrived at and if you are still not happy you should request a review. In preparation you should gather your payslips from the previous 12 months from the date your request was submitted and calculate your own weekly hours average. Please note that any weeks over the previous 12 months that you did not work, for example time on annual leave, out sick, or on maternity should not form part of calculating your average. Your employer should only be averaging the weeks that you actually worked. You should present your calculation to the store or HR manager and formally ask that your weekly band calculation be amended accordingly. If you are unable to resolve the matter at store level, a written grievance can be submitted to Dunnes head office for the attention of Ms Sandra Buckley with your calculations. Make sure to keep copies of your correspondence. If the matter is not resolved at that stage contact your local Mandate office as the matter may need to be referred to the Workplace Relations Commission. If you have any queries and need assistance contact your shop steward or local Mandate office.    

  1. Getting written confirmation of my new weekly band of hours

Once your band of hours is agreed and accepted by you, you are entitled to receive a written statement which confirms or reflects your new band of weekly working hours. This is normally in the form of letter or a statement from the company confirming the amendment of your working hours to your terms of employment. The company must confirm the change in writing within one month. If you do not receive written confirmation you should request it from your manager or write to head office requesting it. If you still do not receive written confirmation you can contact your Mandate office for assistance.

  1. Am I entitled to work above my weekly band of hours?

In many locations it has been stated by management that once you are placed on a weekly band of hours that you will no longer be entitled to work hours above your band. This is not the case. There is nothing in the new legislation that would prevent you from working additional hours above your band should you agree. It is our experience in companies that have been using banded hour agreements for many years, that when additional shifts or hours become available they are normally offered and covered by existing staff. More importantly weekly bands protect staff from drastic cuts to their hours and for many up to now this meant the potential of being reduced to 15 hours. Apparently management are also stating if hours become available they will only be offered to those who did not make a request under the new legislation. This type of behaviour amounts to nothing short of victimisation as defined in the new legislation and your union will support any member who wishes to make such a claim going forward.

Dunnes workers update: Making a request to be placed on a secure band of weekly working hours

To: All Dunnes Stores Members

From: Gerry Light, Assistant General Secretary

Re: Making a request to be placed on a secure band of weekly working hours

Dear Member

It has been confirmed that the provisions for banded hours provided in the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018 are due to come into force next week.

As you may be aware Mandate information meetings and outreach clinics with Dunnes members have been taking place across the country over the past month to fully explain the banded hour’s legislation and the process your Union is taking in order to assist members to request a more secure band of weekly working hours. See link to main information sheet here.

A key requirement of the new law is that workers who have been employed with Dunnes for 12 months or more and who want to be placed on a more secure band of weekly working hours must submit a written request to their employer. Mandate has drafted a template letter for members. See link to sample letter you can print. NOTE: Only complete the name, address and signature part of the form. DO NOT complete the “Date” and “To” fields. You can get a template letter from your local Mandate office, official or a shop steward.

During the past several weeks your local officials have been collecting hundreds of signed request letters from Dunnes members that will soon be submitted by the Union together as a group to relevant store manager in each Dunnes location.

It is important that all Dunnes members who want to submit a request to the company through Mandate to return their signed request letter back to their Union Official/Organiser/Shop Steward before next Friday the 8th of March.  

While there will be opportunities to submit letters of request for banded hours through the Union on an ongoing basis in future, we encourage all members to return their letters before next Friday so as not to miss out on the first stage of these requests.

After letters are submitted to the store manager, you will receive confirmation via text message. The company then has a maximum of 4 weeks by law to place you in a new band in accordance with the legislation.

If you have any queries please contact your local Mandate office, official or shop steward.   www.mandate.ie

Any non-members who wish to join can do so at www.joinmandate.ie

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How to Make a Request to be placed in a Weekly Band of Hours under the New Legislation

Dear Member

As you are all aware, the Bill which will enable workers to have more secure weekly working hours based on the hours they actually work was passed and signed into law in late December 2018 after a long and hard fought campaign particularly by Mandate members in Dunnes Stores over several years.

The new law called the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018 is expected to come into force during the first week of March 2019 and we will keep you informed of the specific dates once they are known.

It is essential given the fact that this new law would not have come into being only for the fighting spirit of our members in Dunnes that we ensure that they above all others fully benefit from its passing. In preparation for this your local Mandate Officials and Organisers will be coordinating together with Shop Stewards and other local union reps, local meetings, outreach visits and information days for Dunnes members in order to explain the process and to assist members in making requests for a secure weekly band of hours that is now for the first time ever based on the hours they actually work and thereafter reflected in a new contract of employment. Please look out for texts and other notices regarding these events for your store and make sure to attend them so that you have all the necessary information and are able to submit your request correctly. If you have any queries please contact your Shop Steward or local Mandate office.

As is always the case, the ability to protect and improve conditions for workers in Dunnes Stores depends on the strength in union membership across the company. That is why you should continue to strengthen your Union in Dunnes by sharing this information and asking fellow colleagues to join.

Yours fraternally

For Mandate Trade Union

Gerry Light

Assistant General Secretary


MANDATE TRADE UNION WILL BE HOSTING A BRIEFING ON THE NEW [Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018] IN DUN LAOGHAIRE ON WEDNESDAY, 6TH FEBRUARY 2019 AT 7PM IN THE ROYAL MARINE HOTEL. MORE INFORMATION AVAILABLE HERE.

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Dunnes workers win 3% pay increase

Mandate Trade Union has congratulated their members in Dunnes Stores following confirmation that a 3 percent pay increase will be applied to all staff and backdated to October 2018.

This brings the total pay increases won by Dunnes workers over the last 6 years to 18 percent and proves that being a member of a trade union pays.

Mandate lodged a pay claim on behalf of its 3,000 members in April but the company refused to concede and instead paid managers a 3 percent pay increase. Mandate wrote to the company last week and issued a statement calling on the company to award their staff a cost of living pay increase before Christmas.

The pay increase formed part of a wide pay and benefits claim made by Mandate Trade Union and also included secure hour contracts, more full time jobs and a staff discount scheme to be applied to all workers.

Gerry Light, Mandate Assistant General Secretary explained that almost all of the claim has now been delivered.

“We are welcoming Dunnes Store’s management’s concession of our pay claim which is well deserved recognition of our members hard work in bringing their company to the top retailer position in Ireland again. This follows the announcement that the staff discount scheme has now been opened up to all our members too,” he said.

“Furthermore, with the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 about to be enacted in the Dail this evening or tomorrow, this will provide our members with secure hour contracts. This legislation will enable Dunnes workers to seek a new contract of employment that reflects the hours they actually work, enabling them to better plan their lives.”

Mr Light concluded: “With this pay increase and secure hour contracts imminent, this will be a much happier Christmas for many of our members in Dunnes Stores.”

Dunnes Stores award management pay hike, but refuse workers cost of living pay increase

Mandate calls on Dunnes to ensure workers are not left out in the cold this Christmas

Senior management at Dunnes Stores, Ireland’s leading retailer, are refusing to pay up to 10,000 workers an annual cost of living pay increase, despite awarding store managers a pay hike earlier this year.

Mandate Trade Union members in Dunnes Stores are calling on the company to pay a 3 percent annual cost of living increase before Christmas.

In a letter sent to Dunnes Stores by Mandate’s Assistant General Secretary, Gerry Light today, he said:

“As the nation’s most successful retailer who depend on the hard work and dedication of loyal staff throughout the year to serve customers, our members are calling on Dunnes Stores to share the benefits of this success and to award the 3% cost of living increase before Christmas.

“Your workers and our members simply deserve better,” added Mr Light.

Mr Light said: “Disappointingly the Company has continued to refuse to respond or engage at any level with thousands of Mandate members employed in Dunnes Store on a number of important claims which are now awaiting a formal hearing before the Labour Court.

Mandate lodged a claim in April 2018 on behalf of its members in Dunnes Stores seeking an annual cost of living pay increase of 3 percent. Also included in the claim was a demand for more secure working hours, more full time jobs, and equality in the Company’s pay scales.

Commenting on these developments, Mr Light said:

“Our members in Dunnes Stores have had to contend with increases in rent and house prices, along with other increases to the cost of living. Christmas is going to be very tight for many of them and their families if their employer doesn’t pay workers a deserved pay increase this year.”

Mr Light concluded by saying, “The company can alleviate many of the pressures on their workers this Christmas by simply agreeing to this annual pay increase. After all, it is Dunnes workers who make the company the success it is today with more than 22 percent of the grocery market.”

Full letter from Gerry Light to Dunnes Stores here: Dunnes Stores – Sandra Buckley 101218

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URGENT: Three steps to decent work!

One of the most important pieces of legislation on workers’ rights in decades is to be debated in Seanad Eireann on Tuesday, 20th November 2018 at 5:45pm.

If it passes, it may mean the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 becomes law before Christmas, and workers will have the right to new contracts of employment that reflect the hours they actually work.

We are asking Mandate Trade Union members and all other trade unionists to take the following three steps to ensure this Bill passes without any further delays:

  1. Email all Senators at senators@oireachtas.ie (sample message below)
  2. Call & email Fine Gael and Fianna Fail offices and tell them you support this Bill and will be watching how they vote (details below)
  3. Tweet to the key political parties by clicking here or below.

Tweet: Legislate for secure hour contracts now!
#PrecariousWork is damaging lives. We want:
1. Strong bands of hours 2. Secure incomes 3. No victimisation
We’ll be watching the Seanad on Tue, 20th Nov, & watching how you vote @fiannafailparty @FineGael @sinnfeinireland & @Labour
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Please forward any correspondence received from Senators or political parties to Mandate Trade Union at news@mandate.ie

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Dear Senator,

As you know, the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 will be debated in Seanad Eireann next Tuesday, 20th November 2018 at 5:45pm. This piece of legislation is of the utmost importance to me and to thousands of workers on precarious contracts of employments.  

I am asking, respectfully, that you ensure this Bill progresses as quickly as possible and ensure that the minimum provisions set out in the Bill include the demands of the Secure Hours=Better Future campaign:

  1. Ban Zero Hour Practices – including exploitative “If and When” contracts.
  2. Provide workers with secure hour contracts that reflect the reality of the average weekly hours worked.
  3. Ensure a maximum ‘look-back’ period of 12 months or less to calculate the average weekly hours and the subsequent ‘band of hours’* into which a worker is placed.
  4. Ensure the maximum width of all ‘band of hours’ is no greater than 5 hours per week
  5. Protect workers from victimisation for enforcing their rights under this legislation.
  6. Ensure legislation is implemented so that current workers can avail of its provisions for hours already completed.

If you have any questions in relation to this, please let me know, or else contact Mandate Trade Union at news@mandate.ie or 01-8746321.

Thank you for your support and we look forwards to seeing this Bill being enacted into legislation.

Yours sincerely,

_______________________

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More information on the Bill is available here:

A mobile friendly  version is available here.

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