Unions warn industrial action may be taken in wake of recommendation
The Labour Court has recommended that Dublin Bus drivers receive an 8.25% pay rise over the next three years.
Unions representing workers at the state-owned company had sought increases of up to 31% to ensure parity with new terms secured by Luas drivers.
The NBRU said it was “disappointed” with the recommendation, which proposes annual wage hikes of 2.75% until 2018, with additional rises linked to productivity.
General secretary Dermot O'Leary said: “Given the eight-year hiatus since bus workers last pay increase and pay cuts that were foisted on staff in the intervening period, it is disappointing that the court has apparently decided not to follow its own guide in not awarding a similar increase of at least 3.8% per year, which it awarded to others in the same transport sector as recently as last month.
“In settling the Transdev dispute, we went on record in advance of the resolution of the Luas dispute indicating quite clearly that we would expect similar treatment with regards to bus and rail workers.
“We also said that we required the pay gap between bus and tram drivers to be addressed as a component of our members’ pay claim."
NBRU members will now be balloted on the recommendation, and Mr O'Leary warned that industrial action may be taken if the proposal is rejected.
“Whilst it will ultimately be for our members to democratically decide whether the level of pay reward recommended is adequate, we cannot rule out the spectre of industrial action in the coming weeks and months should they reject this recommendation,” he said.
Proposals 'fall well short'
SIPTU said it intends to hold a ballot of its own members before the end of the week.
Organiser John Murphy said: “SIPTU members across all grades within Dublin Bus will be meeting over the coming days to discuss this recommendation in detail.
"The exact schedule for a ballot on its acceptance or rejection will then be decided. The ballot process can be expected to conclude by the end of next week.
“However, it is clear that these proposals fall well short of the pay claim made by our members. Due to this, the rejection of the proposal is likely.
"This will mean that if there is not an improved offer made by the employer, there is a strong possibility of industrial action by our members in Dublin Bus in the near future.”
Dublin Bus said in a statement: "[We] would like to thank the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court for their time and efforts in facilitating the pay claim discussions.
"We will now fully consider the contents of the recommendation."