A number of An Post workers at the GPO in Dublin have lost out on a cheeky bid for increased pay arising from their claim that it will take longer to clock in under a new online system.
Workers with the Public Service Executive Union (PSEU) had lodged a claim for a 2pc pay increase "in recognition of the estimated 30 to 45 additional minutes per week that potentially it will take employees to clock in and out under the new system".
The union told the Labour Court that An Post's proposed new online attendance recording system at the GPO should be viewed as major change for a significant number of its members.
In response, An Post stated that it is currently in a loss-making situation and is not in a position to concede the union's claim for a 2pc pay increase.
An Post pointed out "that there is a business requirement to introduce a standardised and modernised attendance recording system for all of its employees".
It also argued that "the implementation of the new system will offer an enhanced service to both the company and employees".
The updated online system is to replace the flexi-time system currently in place in the GPO.
An Post contended that the current flexi-time swipe system is outdated and requires modernisation as it is not linked to current IT systems.
The postal service further contended that it requires standardisation of the attendance recording system across all grades of employees and the new system has already been implemented for other employees based in the GPO.
The union rejected An Post's position and the dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission.
As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court.
In its ruling, the Labour Court found that the new clocking in system constituted ongoing change.
It said that the "new and uniform system of time recording" was "clearly a new system of undertaking the same task".
"In these circumstances, the court is satisfied that the disputed proposal constitutes normal ongoing change," it said.
"In accordance with the current agreement, the union should accept and cooperate with the new system."
As a result, the Labour Court has recommended that the new system be now introduced and that its operation be reviewed after it has been in operation for a period of six months.
The Court also stated that it cannot recommend concession of the pay claim.
A PSEU spokesman was unavailable for comment.