Bus Éireann drivers to receive 2.75% pay rise under Labour Court recommendation

Staff to receive 2.5% increases in 2020 and 2021 under new proposals

The Labour Court said  Saturday working for Bus Éireann drivers   should be “as required by customer and timetable requirements” but that the company should roster work in each of its depots in a fair and equitable manner. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The Labour Court said Saturday working for Bus Éireann drivers should be “as required by customer and timetable requirements” but that the company should roster work in each of its depots in a fair and equitable manner. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

About 1,500 drivers at Bus Éireann are set to receive pay increases of 2.75 per cent this year under a recommendation issued by the Labour Court.

The deal would also see them receiving increases of 2.5 per cent next year and the year after.

The Labour Court in its recommendation also said that Saturday working for the staff concerned should be “as required by customer and timetable requirements” but that the company should roster work in each of its depots in a fair and equitable manner.

It said that Sunday working should be on the basis of two in every five.

The Labour Court also proposed that as part of a new deal self-certified illness should be limited to two days per half year “with only one to be taken on a Saturday or Sunday”.

As part of the reforms the Labour Court recommendation said the company should move to introducing electronic payslips “with the payment of weekly wages on Fridays and e-payslips being available on Thursday afternoons”.

Unions representing staff at the State-owned transport company had sought annual pay increases along the lines of those secured by staff in other public transport companies in recent years, ranging from annual increases of 2.5 per cent in Iarnród Éireann to 3.75 percent for Luas staff.

Strike

Staff at the company staged a three-week strike in 2017 over controversial cost -containment plans put forward by management at a time when Bus Éireann was facing serious financial difficulties.

However unions contended that in more recent times the company’s fortunes had improved.

The general secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’Leary said on Friday that while members would make the final decision on the new pay proposals the Labour Court “has to be commended for acknowledging that our members have made a major contribution in dragging Bus Éireann back from the brink of a scenario where those in officialdom were determined, in 2017, to drive this once proud national transport carrier over the cliff of financial ruin”.

“We have certainly come a long way from those dark days of January 2017 when the then chief executive of this company wanted to initiate a race to the bottom and make drivers work for a pittance.”

Mr O’Leary said the NBRU would continue to campaign for appropriate funding for public transport.

“We will continue to advocate for our transport service to remain in public ownership.”

However he also said the union would be seeking to turn its attention away from what could be seen as constantly speaking about transport disruption to concentrating its energies and focus on working with other organisations and parties to ensure those with disabilities will have equal access to public transport.

“This particular issue, for us at least, holds as much significance as striving to achieve improvements for our members”, he said .