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Breakthrough in talks at Labour Relations Commission

NewsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
BUS DISPUTE _390297342.jpg
BUS DISPUTE _390297342.jpg

A breakthrough in talks at the Labour Relations Commission means that a strike planned for this weekend by workers at Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann has been called off.

Delegates from Bus Eireann, Dublin Bus, the National Transport Authority (NTA), the Department of Transport and the two unions representing the workers were locked in discussions in Dublin until shortly after 4am this morning.

Kieran Mulvey, the chief executive of the LRC, said that all parties agreed to resolve the dispute and a five page document laying out the “terms of settlement” was distributed to the parties.

Independent.ie obtained a copy of the LRC’s proposals, which include the following:

• Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has given assurance that no current employee would be required to compulsorily transfer to a new contractor.

• The introduction of a ‘Registered Employment Agreement’, which will include the terms of existing ‘Collective Agreements’.

This will include that the terms and conditions of employment will not be affected as a direct result of tendering bus services, it will contain assurances regarding security of employment, and employees in either bus company will not be “borne” with any “legacy cost” which may arise from the tendering of bus services.

• A Sector Employment Order (SEO) should also be established for the Public Service Obligation (PSO) bus market within four weeks of the Industrial Relations Bill being enacted.

• The NTA has confirmed to the LRC that they will adhere to the existing terms and conditions of staff that choose to transfer to a new operator, and this also includes pensions.

• The NTA said the tendering process will be examined on the basis of the “most economically advantageous tender” and that the labour costs will not be “the sole criteria”.

• Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe also indicated to the LRC that it is not the “intention of the Oireachtas” to tender the remaining 90pc of routes after 2019 when the current contracts with companies come to an end.

Bus drivers throughout Ireland were set to down tools for a weekend of strikes which were to begin tomorrow.