Bus strikes off as pay deal goes to ballot

Dublin Bus says additional cost of pay deal to be financed by off-setting efficiencies

The deal reaffirms the implementation of current rules for changing Dublin Bus schedules

The deal reaffirms the implementation of current rules for changing Dublin Bus schedules

 

Dublin Bus has said that the additional costs of the new pay deal which ended the strike at the company on Thursday will be financed by a range of efficiency measures contained in the agreement.

However unions argued that the new pay deal did not involve any new productivity measures.

Under the agreement, which was reached after 30 hours of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission, workers at the State-owned Dublin Bus will get annual increases of 3.75 per cent in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The first phase of the increase will be backdated to the start of this year.

The 11.25 percent award over three years is higher than the 8.2 percent recommended by the Labour Court and rejected by staff several weeks ago.

Maximum

The new pay deal brokered at the Workplace Relations Commission this week will cost more than €30 million.

However a spokeswoman for Dublin Bus said: “The additional 1 per cent pay proposal (2.75 per cent to 3.75 per cent) will be financed by a range of offsetting efficiency measures as negotiated at the Workplace Relations Commission.

“These offsetting measures will both increase revenue and reduce our cost base on an ongoing basis. This combined allows for the restructuring of the pay award .”

Under the new agreement staff will also have to co-operate with a new programme known as “lean management” which seeks to achieve changes to operational procedures.

The deal also reaffirms the implementation of current rules for changing bus schedules.

It also says there will be no further cost-increasing claims by unions over the lifetime of the agreement, while management will make no proposals that would worsen the terms and conditions of workers.

The agreement also provides for the introduction of new random drug and alcohol testing.

Siptu divisional organiser Owen Reidy said the new deal involved adjustments to procedures and policies as opposed to the introduction of new substantive productivity measures.

Suspended

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) general secretary Dermot O’Leary said “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”.

Siptu said an “improved offer on our members’ pay claim has been achieved”.

The Minister for Transport 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.”