Overtime ‘never part of terms and conditions’

Overtime has never been part of the terms and conditions of contracts drawn up between bus drivers and their employers, says the Transport Minister.

Two youngsters, who were unaware of the strike, waiting in vain for a bus yesterday
Two youngsters, who were unaware of the strike, waiting in vain for a bus yesterday

Overtime has never been part of the terms and conditions of contracts drawn up between bus drivers and their employers, says the Transport Minister.

Deputy Kevin Lewis said that terms and conditions of the drivers’ employment were being transferred from Connex to CT Plus Jersey from 3 January, and that overtime had never been part of them.

Drivers staged a one-day strike yesterday, on the quietest bus travel day of the week, as part of their long-running dispute over transferring to the new operator.

Deputy Lewis added that the strike would have been an inconvenience to some members of the public, and was regrettable.

Comments for: "Overtime ‘never part of terms and conditions’"

St. Ouen boy

I thought the union stood for full employment ?? As is usual champagne socialists in action. As long as I have overtime then I am happy for those to remain unemployed. Quite simple, bus drivers are unemployed come 1 January 2013.

Beanabroad

The typical union "spoiled brat" approach to negotiations. Its not bad considering how much worse it could be, yet it is never good enough for the unions. Well the unions are an outdated, useless waste of space in my opinion and deserve to be ignored. The should be marginalised like they are in the UK.

Tech

I think this is shocking. They are some of the best paid bus drivers in the world. They should be happy with what they are earning not complain about over time. Be happy to have time off so you can spend it with family etc. If there is over time the company should employee more people. It will be good for the island to get some of the unemployed into a job!

mick tmanhe irish

bus driver s are fighting for there rights they be out of work come jan1 and then the bus comp will hire cheaper labour that what its all about xbus driver

Sam

Not entirely sure who gives Deputy Lewis his legal advice but, on the face of it, he appears to be well off here.

Just because the arrangements for overtime may not appear in the consolidated contract with signatures on it, does NOT mean that they do not constitute a part of the terms and conditions of employment.

In another report he is quoted as using the phrase "informal agreement". From a legal point of view, this is wrong. The way a business conducts itself and practices will be implied as a term in their contracts should a dispute arise (if it satisfies the three elements of a contract), even if it is not in writing. If a worker had done extra hours and not been paid for it, so they sued the employer, the business would be ordered to pay the money because the "informal agreement" is actually binding.

To have a contract you need three elements - 1. an agreement, 2. Consideration, 3. an intention to be binding (which in the course of business, like this, is presumed to exist already). So following those principles, the arrangements for overtime are a part of the terms and conditions of employment. It does not matter whether they featured in the written contact or not.

Deputy Lewis really has done an atrocious job facilitating this transfer and has caused islanders unnecessary inconvenience when he could have sorted this out months ago. If it was always his intention to curb their overtime (which there may be totally legitimate reasons to do) he should have told the workers months and months ago, before the tender went out, that he would not make it a condition on the new service provider to honour their current overtime system. Then they could have had the debate back then. But instead, he kept his mouth shut and was totally misleading to the workers, which is what made the industrial action an inevitability.

James

I agree with Sam in a couple of regards, that an established working practice can become contractual and that on the face of it Deputy Lewis hasn't covered himself in glory.

Re the first point, the law of contract does presume willing buyer willing seller however, and the lawyers might feast upon unwritten terms involving one party that has the right to withdraw its labour, and which many might see as unfair (as to the amount of overtime and who gets it). Partly for that reason and partly because I wasn't "in the room", I would say that criticism of Deputy Lewis may be justified on the face of it, but who knows, wasn't there. I would say that once the white noise has quietened down, we will end up with a better bus service and fairer treatment of all the bus drivers, not just the chosen few. Maybe then we will look on the Deputy more favourably.

OJ

In response to Sam

Sam, while I agree that contracts are legally binding in the rest of the world, this not the case in Jersey where the Rule of Law is not available. Contracts are legally binding depending on who the council is and who it affects. In other words, if any form of contract affects the States of Jersey establishment, then contracts are void and will be 'Stuck Out' in a Jersey court if you are trying to enforce any terms and conditions of a contract. As they say in Jersey, contracts are not worth the paper it is written on unless it is to the benefit of the establishment

Pittacus of Mytilene

@OJ

Does that mean all Companies holding contracts with the States of Jersey don't really have contracts?

Does that mean the contract CT Plus holds with the States of Jersey is not worth the paper it is written on and is thereby invalid?

James

Huh? I suspect someone has spiked the OJ and made it taste gibberish. What nonsense.

Jersey girl

They've had it too good for too long. Overtime is not a guaranteed thing and should not be relied upon. Bus drivers you really need to think how lucky u are to have jobs so I would get on with the job you are paid to do.

jsybean

well said Jersey girl - they are lucky they have a job and as for over time - that also is lucky if you get it tough if you dont its not your right to have over time -

May be instead of overtime they would like to join the rank and file of the unemployed ?

Mind you that may be the plan for some of them ! then they can sit on their backsides playing their many xbox and wii games and let the states support them and their non working wives/partners and 2/3 kids !!

Pittacus of Mytilene

How do you know what their plans are? Or are you just describing your life and what you do/would do?

Scrutineer

Sam, I would hope he gets his advice on Jersey employment law from the government law officers or Jersey law firms that they contract out to! It would be sad if he has got it wrong! I am not a lawyer, but perhaps our laws are different to UK laws. Are your comments based on UK law or Jersey law?

John Henwood

Two wildcat strikes (strikes called without the due notice period) and apparently the TGWU - they may have changed their name, but not their spots - are immune from the legal consequences of their unlawful activities. Why?

Sam

Two wildcat strikes? You'll have to let us know when the second one was, as the one on the 30th was properly balloted and therefore totally legal. But anyway, something not being legal (a wildcat strike) is different to something being illegal. Illegal things are crimes and are prohibited by law and will be dealt with by punishment. An unlawful strike is not a crime, but just a strike that is not subject to the legal protection normally afforded to balloted strikes. Very important distinction. There are no legal consequences from the wildcat strike because it was not illegal, it was just not protected by law.

Chris

Keep up Sam. First wildcat strike was two or three years ago

Pittacus of Mytilene

Yes, do keep up, Sam, your posts are excellent.

James

And there was me thinking that "illegal" simply means "not legal". Who says you don't learn something every day.

James Wiley

Illegal means contrary to statute, unlawful means against the law (the Common Law aka God's Law or the Royal Law) that is).

Unlawful actions are those such as murder, theft, assault... you know things that mean your place in heaven is in jeopardy.

Statutes are not laws they are administrative directions aimed at simplifying the ease of government extorting money from the people and/or providing a form of stealth taxation (such as parking fines).

Taxation is immoral/unlawful (collecting money with menaces (aka extortion), and collecting money under false pretences (aka fraud)) but it is perfectly legal for the government to do it.

Please lets not confuse the terms.