Monday 19 February 2018

'It's a good day' - Dublin Bus workers offered pay increase, all strikes suspended pending ballot

Strikes have been suspended
Strikes have been suspended

Luke Byrne and Denise Calnan

All Dublin Bus industrial action has been suspended following an offer of a pay increase of 11.25pc to be delivered to workers over the next three years.

The strikes have been suspended by workers pending the outcome of a ballot on proposals hammered out by management and unions in marathon talks.

A document will be sent to Dublin Bus garages shortly with a new offer for workers, following almost 30 hours of negotiations at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

It is understood a deal has been reached for a 3.75pc increase on pay each year for the next three years.

This would amount to an 11.25pc pay increase. Unions had initially requested a 15pc pay increase.

The agreement comes after 31 hours of talks between management and unions.

General Secretary of the NBRU, Dermot O'Leary told RTE Radio One's Drivetime this evening: "There's speculation about the quantum of the pay rise.

"What's being reported is around 3.75PC per year and I'm not going to disagree with that assessment of what the quantum is....

"it's a good day in terms of our members and they will decide whether the pay on offer and other proposals will pass muster with them.

"But in the short term the commuters can console themselves that the industrial action envisaged over the next 10 to 11 days has been suspended."

Dublin Bus issued a statement this evening, which read: "

"Dublin Bus welcomes the settlement proposals put forward by the Workplace Relations Commission today after four days of intensive discussions.

"We thank all parties involved for their constructive and positive engagement, especially the officials of the Workplace Relations Commission for the significant assistance given to all parties throughout this process.

"We also welcome the suspension by the Trade Union group of the future planned industrial action."

National Bus and Rail Union also released an official statement, saying they believe the proposals are "at the optimum that can be achieved at this time".

General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "We are prepared, along with Trade Union colleagues to believe that the proposals brokered by the WRC after over thirty hours of negotiations are at the optimum that can be achieved at this time, having gone through eight years without a pay rise, two cost cutting plans, inclusive of pay cuts, we remain of the belief that our members are deserving of a significant pay award."

He continued: "We will now move to immediately consult with our members in order to explain the construct of the proposal which has emanated from these comprehensive set of negotiations, it should be understood and appreciated that our members would expect that the WRC proposals will, in the first instance be disseminated directly to them through their respective Trade Unions in advance of any detailed press briefings."

Transport Minister Shane Ross said: "“I think I am as relieved as every member of the travelling public to hear there has been a breakthrough in the talks between Trade Unions and management.

"I would like to thank the WRC, the Trade Unions and management for their commitment to these talks. The hard work, the steely patience and the long hours that they have all put in over the past few days – particularly in the last 24 hours – is encouraging.

"The Trade Unions will now ballot their members and this important process will begin shortly."

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