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Saturday 1 October 2016

'They’re trying to force the issue' - Union boss over proposed DART timetable changes

John Brennan

Published 23/12/2015 | 14:34

Dart (Stock photo)
Dart (Stock photo)

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has rubbished claims that they are misleading both the public and drivers regarding expanded DART services.

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A row between union officials and Irish Rail erupted yesterday after Union’s rejected proposed roster changes to facilitate the implementation of this new service.

Dermot O’Leary, General Secretary of the NBRU told Independent.ie that Irish Rail are “trying to force the issue.”

He added that it is “very unusual for either party that’s a part of the process recommended by the state institution to step outside the process and take unilateral action.”

Train drivers staged a three-hour work stoppage in October as part of the dispute over payment for past productivity measures.

The NBRU have said Irish Rail “advanced the 10 minute DART service as a productivity item at the Workplace Relations Commission in October/November.”

Adding, “Our members frankly find it insulting that by blaming the union leadership the company is ignoring their democratic acceptance of the Labour Court Recommendation.”

Irish Rail have said that the current issue is “not a productivity issue at all” – explaining that the proposed rosters can be delivered.

“The rosters we have proposed can be delivered within all existing rostering parameters, as we have trained up new drivers to facilitate this.”

However, the NBRU chief disputed this, saying “that there are no new drivers in training for these enhanced services and that the drivers previously trained were for existing vacancies.”

They accused Irish Rail of “giving the travelling public the impression that it's all systems go for 10 minute service without the necessary agreement.”

Mr Barry Kenny, Corporate Communications Manager at Irish Rail told Independent.ie, “There was an opportunity to address 10-minute DART frequency through productivity, but the trade unions declined to progress this option.”

He added, “the union have decided not to address any future productivity issues at this time.

“By referring to the Labour Court issues, the trade unions are deliberately trying to cause confusion to deflect from the fact that they are not abiding by the agreed means through which we review and implement roster changes.”

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