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Bus Éireann, unions to appear before Labour Relations Commission tomorrow

Attempts will be made to avoid possible strike action in the coming days which would disrupt commuters across the country.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE LABOUR RELATIONS Commission will attempt to avert industrial action at Bus Éireann in the coming days with management and unions set to attend talks tomorrow.

Bus Éireann said that it had accepted an invitation from the LRC’s director of conciliation Kevin Foley to attend “exploratory talks” tomorrow. Siptu, one of the unions representing workers, is also set to attend.

Cuts to terms and conditions for staff at Bus Éireann have led to ballots among members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association and Siptu who have overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action next week.

Bus Éireann has proposed cutting overtime, shift, premium and rota payments as well as annual leave in order to meet savings targets with annual losses of €16 million if the cuts are not made, according to the transport company.

The changes to employee terms and conditions that are due to come into effect from this Sunday, 13 January 2013 include:

  • Reduction of overtime rates from 1.5 times to 1.25 times
  • Increase in working week for clerical and executive staff from 36 hours to 39 hours
  • Reduction in shift, premium and rota payments. (If the company’s financial situation improves significantly the reduction in shift will be reviewed in 2014 with a view to restoring shift rates to their current levels)
  • Reduction in annual leave entitlement by 3 days for three years (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • A range of allowance and expense payments will be reduced by 33.3 per cent

“As we have done throughout this process, Bus Éireann will engage in any discussions in the Labour Relations Commission positively and proactively. It would be inappropriate for the company to comment further at this time,” Bus Éireann said in a statement this evening.

More: Bus Eireann to cut some payments after unions reject Labour Court hearing

Read: SIPTU members vote for Bus Eireann strike

Read: TSSA to ballot for industrial action for Bus Eireann workers

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Hugh O'Connell

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