Tomorrow's Dublin Bus strike could be called off if company agrees pay rise above 8.25pc, unions say
Published 26/09/2016 | 11:12
Dublin Bus unions have indicated they may call off tomorrow’s strike if the company agrees in principle to give a pay rise above 8.25pc.
The National Bus and Railworkers Union gave the indication as talks are set to begin this afternoon to end the disruptive dispute as 13 more days of strikes are planned.
SIPTU's key negotiator, Owen Reidy, said that it would "have a decision to make" on tomorrow and Wednesday's industrial action if it got a sense from the company that it was prepared to go beyond the pay rise that was rejected.
Officials at the Workplace Relations Commission will be racing against the clock to reach an agreement that will prompt unions to call off industrial action.
There is a very short window for talks as they begin at 2pm, while services are due to stop at 9pm ahead of tomorrow’s strike.
The General Secretary of the National Bus and Railworkers Union suggested that industrial action could be called off if the company gives a commitment on a pay rise above 8.25pc.
Unions have rejected a 8.25pc pay rise over three years, which was recommended by the Labour Court. It would be worth 2.75pc a year.
“We on the trade union side feel we’ve given reasonability from the start of this dispute, the purpose being to explain to the public what this dispute is about,” said Mr O'Leary.
“The public can make up their minds if this dispute is fair or not. We will bring that reasonability into the discussions today.
“If the company reciprocate with reasonability by acknowledging or recognising that the settlement of this dispute will be beyond the terms of the rejected Labour Court recommendation, then we on the union side have a decision to make at least in relation to industrial action on Tuesday and Wednesday, and we will not be found wanting.”
Dublin Bus said all parties have been invited into exploratory talks without preconditions at the Workplace Relations Commission. “Dublin Bus will be attending and will not be making any further comment at this time,” it said in a statement.
Arriving at last minute talks to end the row, over a pay rise, Mr Reidy said suspending strikes can only be considered at this afternoon's meeting in the Workplace Relations Commission if there is 'space for engagement'.
"We don't want to mislead anybody, least of all the travelling public who've suffered six days of stoppages and there are many more planned, but hopefully we won't have to go there."
Nbru General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said "everyone knows to settle this dispute, the company will have to go beyond what was recommended by the Labour Court".