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Bus Eireann National Negotiation Committee Response to Labour Court recommendation

15 February 2013

Your national negotiation committee met Wednesday 13/02/2013 to review and examine the Labour Court Recommendations. After consideration and discussions, the team found the following:

 

 

· The increase in the hours of work and reduction in annual leave would equate to you working an additional Five weeks a year without pay

· The company has stated they have no plans for a wage increase, and do not envisage any up to 2017 this will mean a pay freeze of up to Nine years minimum and no business plans for one after 2017

· A complete erosion of your present terms and conditions to your financial detriment and also reducing your work life balance

· The company have stated that they have plans to come back in six months to further attack your terms and conditions

· If you have overtime built into your roster, you will see a immediate cut in wages

· The committee view this document as the beginning of the softening up process by the NTA and the Minister for Bus Eireann to be privatised

The negotiation team also took into consideration the very real pressure that we are all facing and the list of additional charges that the government is looking to impose on working people:

· Property Tax

· Water rate charges

· Increase in college fees

· Increase in fuel prices

· A report by the consumers Association of Ireland point to an increase of 12% over the last 24 months in a typical shopping basket

· Increase in solid fuel/gas/coal

· Inflation currently at 2.1%

· Septic tank charges

· Rents

Your current terms and conditions were hard fought and won by your predecessors and the union movement. The committee take the view that we cannot give up these terms and conditions without a fight.

The company has deliberately in our view painted a worse picture than is actually the case, so much so that the Chair of the Labour Court stated during the hearing “the company have painted a black picture, but it is not as bad as the company has portrayed it to be”.

The government has announced an extension of the excise duty relief on fuel (fuel rebate) to passenger operators, cutting about 7.5 cents off the price of a litre of fuel. It is being reported that this equates to approximately €4.2 million in additional savings to the company on their current fuel bill. This new information further demonstrates the need to Vote No, as the savings now needed, is less than the financial figures produced by the company. TSSA has written to the Labour Court Chairman, seeking advice on the Courts recommendation in light of the government announcement, we will keep you informed once we hear from the Labour Court.

As a trade union, we have a responsibility to defend the interests of our members and working people. Attacking your terms and conditions so that you work longer but get paid less is totally unfair and unjustifiable particularly in an environment that is seeing your household budget being squeezed to breaking point!

A ballot will go to the membership with a recommendation of a “NO VOTE”. If a “NO VOTE” is returned, this will then mean that we are in an industrial dispute with the company.

The negotiation committee have taken the view, through feedback from members and being at the forefront of direct negotiations with the company that you are being asked to give up too much. It is the opinion of the committee, that Bus Eireann employees are being used by the government as a “stalking horse for Croke Park 2”. To give up without a fight, would be tantamount to just conceding. It is now more crucial than ever that we join together to stand up for our rights and terms and conditions.

Your local representatives will be available to you for an update on the situation and additional circulars will be forward to all members going forward.

A postal ballot will be sent out this afternoon, the closing day for return ballots is 28th February 2013

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