Private bus operators pay lower wages than Bus Éireann
State company pays average of €48,819 while rivals pay between €30,000 and €39,000
Aircoach, owned by British multinational First Group, employs 191 people whom it pays an average of €39,300 each. Photograph: Frank Miller
A mix of multinational and Irish-owned companies compete with Bus Éireann on routes mainly connecting the country’s big population centres with each other.
They are smaller than the State company and employ fewer people, who earn less than their peers at Bus Éireann.
Bus Éireann paid its 2,487 workers an average of €52,539 in 2015, based on its €130.67 million wage bill. Bus Éireann contributed €9.25 million to its workers’ retirement pot. Taking that out, the State company paid its staff an average of €48,819 last year.
British multinational First Groupowns Aircoach through a company called Last Passive. Figures show it earned a €3 million profit in the 12 months to the end of March 2015.
Last Passive employed 191 people whom it paid a total of €7.505 million, or an average of €39,300 each. Aircoach’s total pension payment for the year was €45,000. Excluding pension costs, Aircoach paid workers an average of €39,050.
The Irish company, Irish Citylink Comfort Delgro Ltd, earned a profit of €1.35 million in 2014, the last year for which figures are available.
Details on staffing show that it employed 11 people in 2014. It paid them a total of €426,573 in wages and social welfare contributions, an average of €38,780 each. There was no pension fund or contributions listed.
Accounts for JJ Kavanagh & Sons Ltd show it made a profit of €133,475 in the 12 months to the end of February 2015. It paid 53 customer service and administrative staff €1.306 million, which included a pension contribution of €110,441. This worked out at an average of close to €25,000.
A linked company, Kenneallys Bus Services, owned by JJ and Paul Kavanagh, lost €53,000 in the 12 months to the end of April 2015. Kenneallys employed 79 people last year, 74 of them drivers. Its wage bill was €1.8 million, including a €151,000 pension contribution, which means workers are paid an average of €37,100.
Matthews employed 71 people in 2015. They were paid a total of €2.12 million, including a €180,000-plus pension contribution. This equates to an average wage of just under €30,000.