Bus Éireann: Pay cuts needed to avoid breach of Companies Act

Bus Éireann: Pay cuts needed to avoid breach of Companies Act

Bus Éireann has warned that it is highly likely to be in breach of the Companies Act if recent Labour Court recommendations are not implemented.

The company said due to its difficult financial situation, it has a precariously low level of net assets.

It insisted that any further losses from non-implementation of the payroll savings in the Labour Court recommendation will make it highly likely that the company will breach Section 40 of the Act within a month.

In February, the Labour Court recommended a number of measures that will deliver approximately €5m in payroll savings.

Bus Éireann says it intends to implement them from Sunday.

Staff are threatening strike action if the cuts go ahead.

Last week, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar warned he cannot pump money into loss-making routes.

“Since June 2012, we have engaged in talks with the trade unions internally, through the Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court in order to bring about the cost savings required from changes to terms and conditions,” said a spokesperson.

“However, nearly a year later and after exhausting all the State’s industrial relations mechanisms, no savings from terms and conditions have been achieved.

“We now have no option but to implement the Labour Court recommendation in order to protect the future of the company

“We remain available for meetings with trade unions in advance of May 12, but only if they make concrete and viable proposals that can deliver at least the level of savings contained in the Labour Court recommendation.”

The Labour Court has recommended the following changes to terms and conditions:

* Reduction of overtime rates from 1.5 times to 1.25 times for first two hours of overtime and at 1.5 times thereafter

* Increase in the working week for clerical and executive staff from 36 hours to 39 hours

* Reduction in shift payment of one sixth to one seventh (if company’s financial situation improves significantly this will be reviewed in 2014 with a view to restoring the shift rates to current levels)

* Reduction in premium payments such as double time on Sundays to now be paid at 1.5 times

* Reduction in annual leave entitlement by three days for three years (2013, 2014, 2015)

* Reduction in self-certified sick leave from four to a maximum of two days per annum

* A range of allowance and expense payments will be reduced by 20%


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