Officials from the union group said on Friday that Dublin bus drivers’ overwhelming rejection of the wage deal and labor practices meant the proposal was “dead in the water”.
Siptu members and the state company’s National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) voted 97 per cent to reject a proposal offering wage increases in some cases close to 15 per cent in exchange for changing work practices.
John Murphy, Ceptu’s transportation sector regulator, and NBRU’s general secretary, Dermot O’Leary, warned Friday that the overwhelming rejection ended any prospect of such a deal being agreed.
O’Leary noted that the overwhelming rejection was a clear indication that Dublin Bus’s proposals died in the water.
“Bus drivers are not for change,” he said. O’Leary added that workers were asked to choose between a work-life balance and chose the latter.
He also said the proposed wage increases were “well below 15 per cent” in most cases.
Murphy argued that the result of the vote precluded agreement on the proposal or any change in it. “There is no way to change the rejection of the 97 percent,” he said.
The deal is designed to pave the way for Dublin’s Bus Connects public transport scheme.
Mr Murphy said the vote would not prevent this from moving forward, as Dublin Bus was already implementing it with current business practices.
The first phase, which focused on increasing services on the road from Howth on the north side of Dublin to the city centre, launched in June.
Phase two, dubbed “the C backbone” and which includes services from Lucan to the west of the city, to the center and Ringsend, on the south side of the capital, is scheduled to launch in late October.
Drivers were unhappy with proposed changes to working practices required in exchange for wage increases that would have meant those at the top of their ladder earn €51,500 a year excluding bonuses.
Part of the plan requires workers assigned to a particular road or two lanes to lead the various services operating from the garages in which they reside.
Others expressed concern that the proposals might increase the amount of time they spend driving to 39 hours a week.
Separately, unions have a demand for fares with Dublin buses dating back to late 2019. The parties are set to start talks on this soon.
Workers are more likely to seek wage increases in line with those offered in other branches of the public service.
The Department of Transportation said it would not be appropriate for Secretary Eamonn Ryan to step in because wage talks concern the company, workers and unions.
A statement indicated that the National Transport Authority continued to make progress in the bus connections program.
“It is an essential part of the government’s policy to improve public transport and tackle climate change in Dublin and other cities across Ireland,” the department said.
“Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante.”