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Irish Rail workers are asking for pay increases of up to 25%

A union letter said that industry norms in public transport had been “brought into sharp focus” in recent weeks.

Image: RollingNews.ie

IRISH RAIL WORKERS are asking for pay increases of up to 25% from management, following on from a commitment secured by Luas workers this week to get a rise in wages.

In a letter addressed to the director of human resources at Iarnród Éireann, the general secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU), Dermot O’Leary, said that workers have said that they “wish us to seek significant pay rise/s on their behalf”.

The letter, dated today, goes on to state that following on from the Luas dispute between workers and company Transdev, industry norms in public transport had been “brought into sharp focus” and that the dispute had highlighted how workers in both companies were treated differently.

The union also said that workers would not cooperate with new plans to introduce a new 10-minute frequency DART service if a meaningful dialogue was not had on pay.

The union said that the rail workers were looking for an immediate end to temporary pay reductions that were put in place in 2014.

As well as this, the union said that workers wanted a 6% pay rise that it said has been due to them since 2009. They also want pay rise “in line with industry norms”, which it says is in the range of 8% to 19%.

In total, this would amount to a maximum pay increase of 25%.

“[Workers] are more than aware that the economic picture has dramatically changed since they were told that retrenchment measures, i.e. the foregoing of gross pay was a necessary imposition on their wages,” the letter reads.

Passenger numbers and revenue have also risen dramatically over the last two years. Staff are now nineteen months into what was to be a scheduled twenty five month arrangement.
Our members are now calling for the cessation of the foregoing gross pay imposition on their wages.

The letter also states that the recent Luas dispute has highlighted differences between the treatment of workers at the privately operated light rail system and those of the State-owned CIÉ group which operates Iarnród Éireann.

Our members are having extreme difficulty in understanding how they, as workers in a public transport service, part funded by government are somehow different than the others in the same space.

18/02/2016. Luas Strike. Pictured Luas staff picke Luas staff picket outside the Sandyford depot last month. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

10 minute DART service

The letter goes on to say that workers have strong objections to new plans for a 10 minute DART service and said that they would not participate in its introduction without “dialogue on pay reward”.

To put it plainly, our members have had enough in terms of having, on the one hand their wage packets raided, whilst at the same time being expected to contribute even more through productivity without being rewarded.

The letter ends with asking management to facilitate a meeting with all the representative trade unions to discuss everything contained in the letter.

In a statement Irish Rail said that the comment by the NRBU were not “grounded in reality”.

“Iarnrod Eireann remains in a very difficult financial position with annual losses, and an accumulated deficit of €135 million and is only paying wages and bills through loans,” the statement reads.

One of the measures taken was a temporary pay reduction ranging from 1.7% to 6.1% for 25 months and this will conclude in October of this year.
That agreement is one that all unions including NBRU signed up to. The NBRU purport to understand our financial position so the comments of the Union are not grounded in reality.

 

Read: Pay deal sees St Patrick’s Day Luas strike called off at last minute

Read: Dart drivers are also set to strike

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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