Tuesday 19 March 2019

DAA deal to give bonus instead of profit share

Acceptance would settle a seven-year wrangle over the issue, writes Fearghal O'Connor

Dalton Philips
Dalton Philips

Fearghal O'Connor

DAA and its trade unions are close to an agreement on a pay process that stretches back seven years and which could see airport workers receive a bonus, it is understood.

Staff at the airport have been seeking a profit-share agreement from the company after it was promised as part of a cost recovery plan that they signed up to back in 2010, which long pre-dates the arrival of chief executive Dalton Phillips.

Under that plan, workers lost out on certain bonuses as part of cost-cutting measures. Now, instead of the sought-after profit-share scheme, the two sides are understood to be close to a deal that would see a restoration of an annual bonus. Negotiations are ongoing, but well-informed airport sources said that an annual payment from the beginning of 2019 - worth in the region of €1,200 - looked set to be proposed as part of a solution by both sides.

Sources suggested that there were proposals that the new bonus would fluctuate up and down from this amount, depending upon growth at the airport.

But, when contacted for a comment, a DAA spokesman said that speculation that any potential gain share payment would be based on passenger numbers was incorrect.

"As DAA is currently is discussions in relations to these matters, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment," said the spokesman. Sources also suggested that one of the key outstanding issues in the process was that of retrospection of the payment back as far as the original cost recovery plan in 2010.

This could leave workers receiving a windfall in the order of €10,000, but was not seen as a likely outcome.

Instead, under the proposals under discussion, staff are likely to be offered a once-off extra payment of €1,500 as a full and final settlement of all retrospection.

The negotiations at DAA are coming to a head in the wake of a Labour Court recommendation in January to deal with a similar demand by staff for a profit-share scheme at Aer Lingus.

Under that recommendation it has been proposed that instead of the fully fledged profit-share scheme that had been sought, Aer Lingus would offer workers a once-off pay rise of 1pc, as well as a €300 voucher.

That proposal is due to be put to a ballot of Aer Lingus workers in the near future and, if accepted, would be a full and final settlement of the profit-share issue.

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