Transport Minister aims to avoid cuts to Irish Rail funding

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has said that he does not want to cut the government's subvention to Irish Rail any further.

Minister Donohoe says he will negotiate to maintain the current level of funding in the forthcoming budget.

Members of the unions which are refusing to sign up to planned pay cuts, SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU), were meeting with management at the Labour Relations Commision today in an effort to avert further strike action at the company.

Iarnród Éireann workers from the NBRU and SIPTU have already staged a 48 hour strike - and further strikes are planned for September 7, 8 and 21 in a dispute over the cuts. The stoppages on September 7 and 21 coincide with the All-Ireland hurling and football finals in Croke Park.

Overall, the rail company wants to find €8.5m in savings, of which it believes €4.7m should come from cuts in the staff pay bill. The cost- savings plan will see temporary pay cuts ranging from 1.7% for staff earning up to €56,000 and up to 6.1% for those earning more than €100,000.

Both SIPTU and the NBRU say the issue of state funding for the company is central to the cost-cutting row that has led to the industrial action.

Minister Donohoe said he hopes not to impose any further cuts in Government funding on Irish Rail.

"It is my intention to commence negotitions in relation to next year's budget by proposing no further cut from next year in subvention to Irish Rail," he said.

"I really welcome the fact that discussions have begun in the Labour Relations Commission and a successful outcome to these discussions is vital for the future of Irish Rail."

However Minister Donohoe is still refusing to intervene directly in the dispute, saying it would not be appropriate at this point.

"There have been many calls for different interventions in relation to this issue, which has been going on for well over 20 months," he said.

"In relation to the discussions between unions and management, the best possible forum for these discussions to take place is the Labour Relations Commission."

Related Articles

Both parties in Irish Rail training dispute agree to refer issue to Labour Court

Crucial day for rail strikes, as Labour Court set to issue recommendation

Latest: Iarnród Éireann welcomes invitation from Labour Court

Union does not want Shane Ross to intervene in rail strike as thousands endure traffic woes

More in this Section

'Stained, torn and dirty' - Number of complaints about state of Irish taxis doubles in one year

Man assaulted adult stepson and threatened to slit his throat in row over house and garden

Judge grants full trial transcript to family of man whose killer ate parts of his body

Woman admits carrying loaded gun at Connolly Station


Today's Stories

Cybersecurity experts warn on ‘whaling attacks’

Minister raises doubt over chances of repealing 8th

Children in two unmarked graves: Shame of what lies beneath

Laws aim to ban reselling tickets above face value

Lifestyle

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner