Previous correspondence issued by the Trade Union Group (TUG) advised of an audit carried out on behalf of Revenue indicating a number of non-compliant subsistence allowances. These included zoning payments, driving directly to work sites, Meal vouchers at Rosslare Europort and, in the case of BIK, a requirement to declare personal mileage.
As in normal circumstances, the trade unions engaged with the Company on this audit that was to be implemented on 1 November 2020. However, despite a number of virtual meetings, attempts failed to mitigate the losses in respect of this audit that would be incurred by those in receipt of these subsistence allowance.
The outcome of this remains we cannot hold a grievance with the Revenue Commissioners, nevertheless, we can negotiate with the Company in an attempt to mitigate these changes on behalf of our members on the value of those allowance going forward.
However, on Friday 13 November, a meeting held to discuss the issue, the company announced that there will be no further discussions with the trade unions and that the audit will be implemented in full on 1 December 2020.
This is being viewed by the trade unions as, yet again, a further erosion in the collective bargaining process between the trade unions and Iarnód Éireann management. To date, the company has reneged on an agreement concerning cash pay, are now being opportunistic during the Covid-19 crisis in respect of booking offices, attempting to close some booking offices.
The mantra of working together seems to have passed us by. It has to be said that events have now shown this continued unilateral action in the above case by the abrupt ending of any discussions will result in a fractured relationship with the TUG and an exceptional challenging industrial relations environment.
Members will be kept advised on further developments.