Saturday 27 December 2014

Bus Eireann to push ahead with cuts to workers’ holidays and overtime

Published 30/04/2013 | 12:36

BUS Eireann is to press ahead with plans to cut workers’ holidays and overtime payments from next month, placing the company on a collision course with unions.

The company says it will implement changes aimed at cutting €9m a year from costs because unions have refused to discuss the changes.

And it warned that if the savings were not made, job losses may be “unavoidable”.

The move is likely to raise the ire of trade unions who have previously threatened to strike over the changes.

Most workers are represented by SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union.

Bus Eireann said the savings were necessary because it has to cut €20m a year from costs - €9m will come from changes to pay and conditions, and €11m from operational savings.

The “very existence” of the transport company is under threat, it claimed, unless the savings were made.

“No progress has been made on savings from terms and conditions because of trade union resistance despite the involvement of the Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court in the process,” a spokesman said.

“Without the necessary savings from changes to terms and conditions and on-going inter-city service changes, Bus Éireann is facing annual losses of more than €11m, which are simply not sustainable.”

Unless the savings are delivered, job losses “may be unavoidable”, he added.

The changes come into force from May 12 and include a reduction in overtime rates, an increase in the working week for clerical and executive staff, a cut in premium payments for working Sundays and three days fewer holidays a year until 2015.

A range of allowance and expense payments will also be reduced by 20pc.

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