Labour Court rules in bus dispute
The Labour Court said it was satisfied Bus Eireann was experiencing serious financial difficulties.
The Labour Court has recommended significant reductions in overtime, shift payments and sick leave arrangements for staff at Bus Éireann.
It has also recommended the working week for clerical staff be increased from 36 to 39 hours.
The court said it was satisfied Bus Éireann was experiencing serious financial difficulties which had the potential to undermine its continued viability.
It said it was further satisfied that significant reduction in its operating costs, including payroll costs, were essential if the company’s difficulties were to be effectively addressed.
However it said the changes to terms and conditions which it recommended should only apply until the company returned to a ”reasonable and sustainable” level of profitability.
It said the situation should be reviewed at the end of 2014 and every year subsequently.
The intervention of the Labour Court averted a potential strike at the company in protest at plans by management to unilaterally implement a recovery plan.
The Labour Court has recommended the first two hours of overtime in any day be reduced from 1.5 times to 1.25 times and that it should be paid at 1.5 times thereafter.
It said overtime for Sunday work, which is currently paid at double time, should be reduced to 1.5 times. It said there should be no change to the double time bonus for staff rostered for normal duty on a Sunday.
The court said public holidays should be paid at 1.25 times the normal rate in addition to statutory entitlements while overtime for public holidays which was paid at double time should be paid at 1.25 times for the first two hours and 1.5 times thereafter.
The recommendation also said shift payments of one-sixth should be reduced to one-seventh.
The Labour Court recommendation said the number of self-certified sick leave days be reduced from four to two per year.
Bus Éireann said it welcomed the court’s recognition that the company was experiencing serious financial difficulties and this required significant reductions in its operating and payroll costs to protect the continued viability of the company and the employment it provided.
“Bus Éireann has just received the detailed recommendations and we will now need to review it to assess the financial implications of the Labour Court’s recommendations,” a spokesperson said.