Irish Rail curtailed essential engineering work to fund pay rise
Drivers accept process which allows operation of 10-minute Dart service
Irish Rail said it deferred planned maintenance work on the Cork line at the end of last year. It said this engineering work would take place this year, and other work would be moved to next year
Last November the Labour Court proposed a 7.5 per cent pay increase over three years for the 3,800 staff at the State-owned rail operator. The move averted three 24-hour strikes planned by unions. Staff had previously staged two 24-hour strikes over a pay claim which had cost it about €1.2 million.
Documents sent by the company to the Department of Transport show a board meeting in December last year heard the first 2.5 per cent increase in the overall award was to be funded by Irish Rail by “a curtailment in essential engineering activity”.
Irish Rail said it deferred planned maintenance work on the Cork line at the end of last year. It said this engineering work would take place this year, and other work would be moved to next year.
Meanwhile, train drivers have accepted a new process to deal with separate issues over the mentoring of new driving staff and a reduction in the working week. The row over mentoring of new drivers had delayed plans by Irish Rail for a 10-minute frequency Dart service and the expansion of commuter services.