Company asks unions to commit to €5m saving on drivers' overtime
Bus Eireann has asked unions to commit to saving €5 million on driver's overtime, as it says they are willing to re-engage in negotiations.
"We have always stated that cost cutting would have to involve all staff and that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. For equity to prevail however, cost reductions must be applied to where there are the most inefficiencies and this has been clearly identified in our requirement to ensure paid time is optimized to ensure it delivers value for the business," Bus Eireann said in a statement.
"Our request of the Trade Unions is that they embrace and commit to all improved efficiencies. We expect that this could result in a reduction in overtime levels by on average three hours per driver per week. The full saving from this would amount to approximately €5m in a full year."
Bus Eireann said that if the Trade Unions are willing to accept the proposal that the company is prepared to "make commitments in respect of the drivers’ terms and conditions of employment and re-engage in negotiations through the WRC".
SIPTU organiser Willie Noone said the letter from Bus Eireann "only primarily engaged in trying to plan the timing of a dispute rather than resolving the dispute".
"SIPTU can clearly differentiate between cost cutting and cutting the majority of employee’s individual pay as the reduction of payroll costs is the shared objective and where the solution resides. It may be more appropriate to discuss the fairness and equity of the company position that headcount reduction for management should be proportionate to other grades as there may be differing views on what is proportionate."
The NRBU also issued a statement saying they were "disgusted" by Bus Eireann's statement.
"I wish to express in the strongest possible terms our outright disgust with regard to the disgraceful behaviour of Bus Eireann, in particular its continuous attempts to provoke a significant cohort of our members into a reaction, which will bring nothing but Industrial mayhem across the Public Transport Sector.
"The time being wasted here would be better served around the negotiating table at the WRC, where all issues, inclusive of the necessity for real and tangible commitments around the Burden sharing expected from the significant number of managers at Bus Eireann can be properly coursed."