Dublin Bus drivers to get €1.4m over privatisation of routes

Routes being taken over by Go-Ahead will lead to base and roster changes for some staff

New deal is “a direct consequence of the then FG/Labour government decision to privatise State jobs”. Photograph: Alan Betson

New deal is “a direct consequence of the then FG/Labour government decision to privatise State jobs”. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Some 240 drivers at Dublin Bus who currently operate routes that are to be transferred to a UK company in the weeks ahead under Government transport reforms are to receive an estimated €1.4 million collectively in compensation.

The vast majority of the drivers who work on services that are being transferred to the Go-Ahead company will be remaining with Dublin Bus. However, in future they will have to operate other routes, potentially on different rosters.

No driver will be forced to move from Dublin Bus under assurances provided by the Government in 2015.

Staff with more than 30 years service will receive €7,000 as part of a tiered compensation scheme for “displaced drivers”, which will see those working longest for Dublin Bus receive the highest payments.

Under a deal between unions and management brokered at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), those with up to 15 years’ service will receive €4,000; those with 15-20 years’ service will get €4,750; those with 20-25 years’ service will receive €5,500; and those with 25-30 years’ service will get €6,250.

Nearly 50 drivers working on routes operating in the Dún Laoghaire area – 45A, 59, 63 and 75 – which are to transfer to Go-Ahead, will receive an additional €1,000 per person. These drivers will now be required to move from Dún Laoghaire to the Dublin Bus garage in Donnybrook.

The deal stipulates that the compensation payments will not set a precedent for any future route schedule changes.

‘Yellow-pack labour’

Under the reforms 10 per cent of Dublin Bus routes – 23 existing services – were put out to tender, which was won by Go-Ahead. It has been operating one service – route 175 – since early September.

However, the transfer of services from Dublin Bus will intensify in the next few weeks. The routes 45A, 75, 63 and 59 will be operated by Go-Ahead from October 7th, while the company will take over routes 111, 184 and 185 on October 21st.

Other services will transfer to Go-Ahead in December and January.

One highly placed union source said last night the new deal was “ a direct consequence of the then FG/Labour government decision to privatise State jobs”.

“Whilst we were successful in ensuring that in 2015 all Dublin Bus drivers were maintained in employment with the company, the fact is that both Dublin Bus and the trade unions always recognised and accepted that the industrial relations issues associated with stripping over 240 drivers of their current roster- based conditions would require to be satisfactorily addressed in advance of the transfer of 10 per cent of State-owned bus routes to the UK multinational Go-Ahead, which was awarded a five-year, taxpayer-funded €172 million contract to operate these services.”

“Supplanting State jobs which have reasonable terms and conditions, with low-pay, yellow-pack labour is something that politicians who say they are anti-privatisation need to oppose, should proposals emerge for future incursions into State-owned public services.”