Friday 24 November 2017

CIÉ unions to seek Dublin Bus rise as bus workers accept 11.25pc increase

Passengers safe from strikes as bus workers accept 11.25pc

NBRU general secretary Dermot O'Leary Photo: Tony Gavin
NBRU general secretary Dermot O'Leary Photo: Tony Gavin

Anne-Marie Walsh

Unions have set their sights on pay rises for workers at Bus Éireann and Irish Rail after Dublin Bus staff voted to accept an 11.25pc wage hike.

The deal, worth 3.75pc a year, is just 0.5pc short of the increase given to Luas drivers following a series of rolling work stoppages earlier this year.

It is almost double the 2pc being given to workers in the private sector and the wider public sector under the Lansdowne Road deal.

Passengers learned yesterday that they are safe from the threat of eight more strikes after members of the main unions at the semi-state company voted in favour of proposals that were agreed during marathon talks.

If the deal had been rejected, commuters faced further work stoppages on Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week, and October 18, 19, 24, 26 and 29.

NBRU general secretary Dermot O'Leary (inset) said that despite reservations on some of the issues in the proposals, members had accepted the deal brokered at the Workplace Relations Commission.

He sought clarification on a number of aspects of the deal from the company during the week - including the implementation of random drugs and alcohol tests for all workers that are part of the agreement.

"In backing the deal, our members have once again demonstrated that it is their desire to continue to provide a public bus transport service to the citizens of our capital city, despite the lack of support by the State in providing sufficient subvention," he said.

He said his union would now concentrate its focus on pay rises for staff at Bus Éireann and Irish Rail. The union leader said politicians across the spectrum "should pay heed to those they are elected to serve and recognise that workers across society have had enough of austerity and enforced cuts and are rightly seeking to improve their terms and conditions".

Siptu's Transport, Energy, Aviation and Construction Division organiser, Owen Reidy said his union would also continue its efforts to "reclaim lost ground".

He said they wanted to achieve "decent" pay rises for workers in the rest of the CIÉ companies "and beyond".

"In this, we will be building on the achievements of the Luas and Dublin Bus pay deals," he said.

The unions have already submitted a claim for a 15pc pay rise over the next three years at Bus Éireann, which has now been referred to the Labour Court.

A dispute is likely, as chief executive Martin Nolan recently told staff in a letter that the trading position of the company dictated that no payroll increases could be contemplated.

A similar pay rise will be sought at Irish Rail, as temporary pay cuts are due to expire this month.

Irish Independent

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