The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU ) has voted to accept labour recommendations in the Bus Éireann dispute.
The recommendations include job losses to some 200 staff, pay cuts, and freezes on increments.
The NBRU’s acceptance follows that of SIPTU and Unite union members last week.
Services around the country were brought to a standstill on March 24 for 21 days as workers took strike action against proposals to introduce pay cuts and reduce working hours. The cuts were deemed necessary by the board of Bus Éireann in order to avoid the company being declared insolvent.
Talks at the Work Relations Commission failed and the matter was referred to the Labour Court, which issued a 17-page recommendation in an effort to solve the dispute.
The Labour Court’s recommendations include voluntary redundancies for 22 executives and members of management, 120 drivers, and 48 clerical workers, while those earning more than €60,000 will have their pay cut.
The board of Bus Éireann has welcomed the NBRU’s decision.
“”This endorsement significantly enhances the prospects for the company and all of the customers and staff who rely on our services throughout the country,” a statement released this week read.
“We now look forward to proactively engaging with our staff to implement the Labour Court recommendation. This will help us address the critical financial position and achieve significant and necessary improvements in efficiencies.
“Acceptance of this recommendation now also provides a basis to enable us to develop a viable business plan, which can be presented to our board for approval.”
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Robert Troy, said now is the time for Minister Shane Ross to set out his vision for the future of Bus Éireann.
“The decision by the NBRU to accept the Labour Court recommendation is a positive development,” he said. “This follows on from the decision taken by SIPTU and Unite members earlier this month to endorse the recommendations. These developments mean that the focus can now shift towards mapping out a sustainable future for Bus Éireann.”
Deputy Troy said it is now time for Minister Ross to fulfill his promise to establish a stakeholder forum to chart a sustainable way forward for the company.