UNIONS that threatened a Bus Eireann strike last month are set to ballot members on new plans to cut their premium payments, expenses, and holidays.
SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union will ask members to vote on revised proposals that have been backed by the Labour Court.
The court accepted that the state-owned transport company is experiencing serious financial difficulties, which could put jobs at risk.
But it did not back all of the original cuts it was planning to introduce to reduce its payroll.
The revised cuts mean clerical and executive staff’s working will rise from 36 hours to 39, which was in the company’s original plan.
However, expense payments will be cut by 20pc, rather than a cut of a third which was proposed by the company.
The cuts are part of a €9m savings plan as the company predicts losses of €16m this year.
Bus Eireann said the savings need to be delivered due to rising fuel costs, falling passenger numbers and a cut in its government subvention.
However, the court said the changes should be temporary and reviewed annually from next year until the company returns to profitability.
The court’s recommendation is not binding, so unions must now ballot on the deal.
Bus Eireann passengers faced travel chaos last month after 2,000 staff served notice of industrial action.