Bus drivers reject proposal

Drivers at Dublin Bus have rejected Labour Court proposals for a company cost savings plan, raising the prospect of a repeat of the strike action which hit thousands of commuters at the start of this month.

Siptu drivers voted 72% against accepting the proposals to change their terms of employment. The outcome in the National Bus and Rail Union was 67% to 33%.

In the face of an accumulated deficit of €52.2m at the end of 2012, Dublin Bus has been seeking €11.7m in efficiencies.

As part of that, it is looking for €4m from “efficiency and productivity savings” around the staff’s working arrangements.

While it has not sought straight pay cuts from its non-management staff, it is looking for cuts to overtime and holiday entitlements.

The proposals from the Labour Court emerged after overnight talks last week between union representatives and the management of Dublin Bus.

Those talks had followed three days of strike action at the transport company between Aug 4 and 6.

Following yesterday’s result, Siptu organiser Willie Noone said it was clear the drivers in Dublin Bus were still not willing to accept the cost-cutting measures as outlined in the Labour Court recommendation and subsequent adjustments.

“Our members at general meetings indicated that they were frustrated that yet again they were being asked to provide a public transport service while the subvention to pay for it was continuing to be reduced and there was no end in sight to cuts to their conditions of employment,” he said.

In a statement last night, Dublin Bus said it was “extremely disappointed with the outcome of the ballot of the driver grade in both Siptu and the NBRU”. The driver grade in both trade unions rejected the Labour Court recommendation and subsequent clarification issued on Aug 9.

Dublin Bus will “now await the outcome of the ballots of the other six grades and will not be making further comment until this process is completed”.

Ballot results from non-driver unions at Dublin Bus are expected next week.

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