Deal struck in Bus Eireann dispute

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Bus Eireann has been told it must make €20m of savings to secure its future
Bus Eireann has been told it must make €20m of savings to secure its future

Directors’ pay package takes a hit as drivers overtime pay is reduced, although there is no change to core pay

A deal has been agreed between Bus Éireann management and unions following industrial action in the Republic of Ireland.

The company said proposed costsaving measures will help protect the future of the company, 2,500 jobs and 300 routes. Under the agreement the cuts would remain in place for a fixed period of 19 months from June 1 to December 31, 2014 and Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar and Minister of State for Public Transport Alan Kelly welcomed agreement on the €5m (£4.2m) savings plan.

The Labour Court initially ruled in February Bus Éireann must make savings of €20m to secure its future – proposing €11m of savings to come from operations and €9m from employee terms and conditions (CBW 1086).

Under the new deal executives at Bus Éireann face a move back of one point on their incremental pay scale. It says the working week will be extended from 36 to 39 hours from June, while self-certified sick leave will be cut from four days to three. Fees paid to directors are also to fall by 20% under the terms of the deal. Overall, executives at the state-owned operator will have to contribute around €1m in pay and non-pay savings as part of the deal which aims generate €5m in reduced costs.

For drivers the new agreement on overtime rates and premium payments will be the same as those set out in the Labour Court recommendation which was rejected by staff.

This would involve overtime payments for the first two hours set at 1.25 times and 1.5 times for periods thereafter. There would be no change to the Sunday bonus for staff rostered for normal duties. In addition, shift payments will remain the same and core pay will not be touched. Overtime on a Sunday would fall from double time to time and a half.