Friday 20 September 2019

Irish Rail workers expected to reduce 25pc wage claim after success of Dublin Bus move

Dermot O’Leary, general secretary of the NBRU. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Dermot O’Leary, general secretary of the NBRU. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Chai Brady

Irish Rail is expected to follow Bus Éireann's reduced pay claim, which is less than half of what was originally proposed, according to sources.

Originally Irish Rail lodged a pay demand of 25pc, which could fall by 13.75 percentage points if they follow the other CIE members.

Bus Éireann has lowered its pay claim to 3.75pc per year as Dublin Bus has "laid the benchmark" for CIE companies.

The change of heart comes as Dublin Bus workers sealed similar pay deals in the Labour Court.

There is speculation that Irish Rail workers may now feel more pressure to lower their initial claim - which is as high as 25pc - because it is part of the CIE family.

However, they haven't gone before the Workplace Relations Commission yet.

Irish Rail dubbed the claim as "not grounded in reality" when it was initially made in March of this year.

Bus Éireann previously made a pay claim of 21pc at the Workplace Relations Commissions in September, but will now be aiming for pay rises of 11.25pc over three years.

"Trade unions by their nature always come to the table if there's a bit of a compromise," said Dermot O'Leary of the National Bus and Railworkers Union (NBRU).

"At this stage it would be futile for us not to recognise that Dublin Bus laid the benchmark, definitely within the CIE group following on from the Luas.

"We are determined to pursue a similar pay rise for Bus Éireann.

"Dublin Bus was the first of the three companies to be at the table, the benchmark is normally set by whichever company goes first, but there's no hard agreement on that."

There has been growing concern in Bus Éireann separate to pay issues.

The company is expected to make greater losses this year compared with the €5.4m deficit in 2015, and is expected to make recommendations that could lead to some redundancies and pay cuts.

Irish Independent

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