Wednesday 24 January 2018

Airport authority is told to slash pay at new terminal

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

STAFF working in Dublin's new airport terminal will be paid thousands of euro less than those working in Terminal 1, the Irish Independent can reveal.

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey has cleared the way for the state-owned airport management company to operate the terminal. But the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) will have to slash wage rates across the board if it wants to run the new facility.

Mr Dempsey has allowed three months for the DAA to show it can run the terminal in line with targets to be laid down by the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

The commission has warned that "alternative arrangements" will be made if costs are not met.

The regulator has set upper limits for wages which are tens of thousands of euro below the rates the airport authority pays.

A draft SIPTU report, seen by the Irish Independent, reveals that current pay rates for some positions are almost €20,000 a year more than those set by the regulator.

Regulator

For instance, a security supervisor paid up to €57,414 in Terminal 1 can only be paid up to €37,760 in Terminal 2, according to the regulator.

Some 500 people will be employed at the 75,000sqm terminal, built by the DAA at a cost of more than €600m.

The DAA is considering its options in relation to the cost parameters laid down in a report commissioned by the regulator last year.

It may not change existing wage rates and fill most of the positions with new recruits on different terms and conditions, while transferring only a small number of existing staff.

But unions fear this would have an inevitable knock-on effect on rates for 3,000-plus staff at the three main airports.

Talks between the authority and unions are expected to get under way within days.

DAA chief executive Declan Collier said the minister had set a "significant challenge" which would "require a different cost model than that which currently pertains in the existing terminal".

Union sources also admitted it would be a "challenge" to meet the minister's requirements, particularly as staff have suffered pay cuts of up to 12pc.

There were also 300 voluntary redundancies that slashed €38m off payroll costs.

T2 is due to open in November.

Irish Independent

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