Train drivers back deal to resolve row over past productivity

NBRU warns against unilateral move to increase frequency of Darts in the New Year

Train drivers who are members of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) have voted by a significant margin to accept Labour Court proposals aimed at resolving a row over past productivity at Ianród Éireann.

Train drivers who are members of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) have voted by a significant margin to accept Labour Court proposals aimed at resolving a row over past productivity at Ianród Éireann.

 

Train drivers have voted by a significant margin to accept Labour Court proposals aimed at resolving a row over past productivity at Ianród Éireann.

However thee National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has warned that any move by the company to press ahead unilaterally with plans for a more frequent 10-minute Dart service in the New Year could lead to further industrial relations difficulties.

Drivers who are members of the NBRU and Siptu staged a 3-hour work stoppage in October as part of their campaign for payment for past productivity measures as well as a shorter working week.

The Labour Court recommended a a new process of talks between management and unions at Ianród Éireann on productivity.

It also proposed the establishment of a “benchmarking” exercise to compare the totality of terms and conditions applicable to train drivers in Northern Ireland and Britain with those working in Ianród Éireann.

Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy proposed a process of negotiation on productivity, taking into account all changes and efficiencies generating verifiable and auditable savings which continued to accrue to the company, but for which compensation had not previously been provided.

However, he urged that measures that were taken into account in earlier collective agreements should be disregarded.

Mr Duffy also proposed the establishment of a management-union working party facilitated by an agreed independent expert in the field of productivity measurement .

He said the benchmarking exercise comparing terms and conditions should be carried out without prejudice to the position of either party on what should follow from the results of that exercise.

NBRU general secretary Dermot O’Leary said train drivers who were members of his union had voted to accept the Labour Court recommendation by 76 percent to 24 per cent.

He said that having accepted the recommendation the focus of his members would be “to establish the value of past productivity, using the mechanism suggested by the Labour Court”.

“We would also remind the company that all future productivity, inclusive of planned service enhancement will require consultation and discussion with the existing cohort of train drivers prior to implementation. Such discussions coupled with the benchmarking of train drivers hours in Northern Ireland and the UK will form the basis for improvements to the terms and conditions of train drivers. ”

SIPTU train drivers have accepted a Labour Court recommendation to enter discussions by 7 per cent.

“There is still considerable anger about the previous reluctance of Irish Rail to engage in meaningful talks but union members are clearly willing to make another attempt to reach an agreement on the outstanding productivity issues.” SIPTU assistant organiser, Paul Cullen said.