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Labour Court recommends cuts to overtime and sick leave for Dublin Bus drivers

The court said that there is no proposal to reduce core or basic pay but acknowledged that many of the proposals would “impact significantly” on employees.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive

THE LABOUR COURT has recommended that Dublin Bus drivers’ overtime and holiday payments be cut, as well as the number of sick leave days, in order for the company to achieve a required €11.7 million in savings.

The dispute over cuts between representative unions and Dublin bus was referred to the Labour Court in January of this year. The company’s deteriorating financial position left it with an accumulated deficit of €52.2 million at the end of 2012.

It is now seeking to make €11.7 million annually, of which €7.7 million is to come from direct payroll costs and some €4 million from efficiency and productivity savings which will impact on working arrangements affecting staff.

The court’s recommendations, sent to unions yesterday and seen by TheJournal.ie, advise  the following changes to pay:

  • Reductions in rest day and overtime pay on Sunday to double time from 2.5
  • Rest day rate on Monday to Saturday to be paid at a time and a quarter, down from time and a half
  • Monday to Saturday overtime to be paid at time and a quarter for the first two hours and time and a half thereafter, rather than time and a half every hour
  • Public holidays on a normal day to be paid at time and one quarter plus statutory entitlement
  • Public rest day rate and overtime to be paid at time and one quarter plus statutory entitlement

The court also recommended that a total of four days self-certified sick leave should be permitted in a calendar year with no more than two such days allowed in a six-month period. This is a change from the seven days a year that drivers currently have.

Proposals on travelling time should be referred back for further discussion, the court said, with a “view to reaching an agreement within a time frame of not more than three months”.

A union source told TheJournal.ie that this is a “complex” issue with some members strongly opposing any changes to the allowance as they have a long way to travel from home to work.

The court said that there is no proposal to reduce core or basic pay but it acknowledged that many of the proposals, “particularly those involving reductions in direct payroll costs, will impact significantly on the earnings of employees”.

“However the company believes there that are no viable alternatives which could address the financial difficulties with which it is faced,” it said.

A recommendation in line with Dublin Bus’ proposals means the company will reserve the right to redo all current schedules to reflect current customer demand. However a union source said that “given the reactive nature of Dublin Bus instead of proactive, that horse will have already bolted”.

As unions only received the recommendations yesterday, no decisions have yet been made on when to ballot or whether they will advise members to accept or reject them, sources said.

Download: the full document>

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