Monday 16 July 2018

Luas drivers still seeking over 18pc rise as colleagues ballot

Siptu official Willie Noone. Photo :Arthur Carron/Collins
Siptu official Willie Noone. Photo :Arthur Carron/Collins

Anne-Marie Walsh and Paul Melia

Luas drivers are still demanding a pay rise of over 18pc while their colleagues are set to ballot on lower wage hikes this weekend.

Sources said talks with the drivers that are due to begin on Monday may be difficult as they "are adamant" they still want a pay increase above a Workplace Relations Commission package.

Siptu has written to Transdev on behalf of the drivers formally rejecting a proposal by the company for a 10pc pay rise over 33 months. Without agreement at Monday's talks, another strike is set to take place on Thursday.

It has also been revealed just five of the 172 drivers turned up for a general meeting of staff at Liberty Hall last week, organised by Siptu. The union denied this was a sign of a rift.

"If they didn't turn up, we can only take it they're confident that they're not going to be bullied into any course by threats," said Siptu official Willie Noone. "The meeting was called to go through the content of a company letter containing threats to staff and to explore the options available to counteract those threats."

As well as a bigger pay rise, sources said the abolition of new rates for entrants was another red-line issue for drivers.

They also want Transdev to back down on a plan that would allow the company more flexibility in getting drivers to work an extra half-hour one day, although they would recoup that 30 minutes by working less another day.

Meanwhile, three groups of staff at the tram service are voting on a pay package that means a pay rise of 10pc, and a long service increment in the region of 3pc. This is lower than a 14pc pay package negotiated at the Workplace Relations Commission, although it is understood they are set to get the long service increment after 12 years service, rather than 14.

The pay proposals for revenue protection officers, revenue protection supervisors and traffic supervisors are better than a 10pc pay rise over 33 months offered by Transdev, which had no long service increment.

It is understood pay was not a major stumbling block for these grades of staff. They were more concerned that issues relating to their bonus and productivity were ironed out.

Irish Independent

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