"Nothing short of scandalous" - Union hits out at Bus Éireann pay proposals

The company is offering 1-3% pay rises to staff, but the NBRU says workers could face cuts of 25% or more

"Nothing short of scandalous" - Union hits out at Bus Éireann pay proposals

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has described Bus Éireann's proposed changes to pay & conditions for staff as "nothing short of scandalous" and "stomach-churning".

In a letter to unions, the company said it "will go out of business" without major changes, including restructuring.

The company is calling on staff to "accept redeployment and reasonable changes to roles and responsibilities" to facilitate restructuring.

A letter to staff says it is hoped restructuring can be achieved through natural attrition and the completion of fixed term contracts, as well as a reduction in the numbers of temporary staff.

However, it does not rule out the possibility of future redundancies.

"Where positions are to be made redundant, the company will endeavour to redeploy or achieve the required reductions on a voluntary basis in the first instance," it adds.

Management have offered a pay increase of between 1% and 3% to all staff - but has also announced planned cuts to other rates & conditions.

The company says it intends to cut overtime and Sunday rates, while "rota and shift premium payments will be eliminated to reflect competition".

The NBRU has hit out at the proposed changes, suggesting workers could face cuts of 25% or more.

NBRU General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "It is nothing short of scandalous that Bus Éireann would resort to attacking its own staff through cutting their wages to facilitate the Minister and his Department into becoming a reincarnation of Pontius Pilate in denying all responsibility for creating the Expressway crisis.

"Attempting to ensnare ordinary workers into a labyrinth of political deceit is disgraceful, and clearly demonstrates the contempt that those who make policy, those that implement policy have for decent workers who go about their daily toil far, far away from where life impacting decisions are made.

He added: "It is insulting to bus workers to suggest that a pay rise is available of up to 3% when the threatened cuts contained in the correspondence are in order of 25% plus."

The NBRU says it will meet with its trade union colleagues in the coming days to discuss the "stomach-churning initiative".