NOTICE TO MEMBERS
The year just gone has presented many challenges, some of which were addressed and others which will carry on into next year, 2017.
The issue of Pay dominated the industrial landscape at Dublin Bus throughout the year, culminating in a long overdue and well deserved Pay Rise for all Staff.
The NBRU played a significant role in achieving this landmark award and would like to place on record its appreciation of the role played by all Trade Union colleagues in getting to the point, where Dublin Bus workers will effectively have received a 7.5% pay increase by the 1st January 2017.
There are of course still some significant challenges ahead, for example those associated with the Job Evaluation exercise between that of a Bus Driver and Tram Driver, agreed as part of the WRC Proposals on Pay, along with issues around Pension and how the maximum value can be achieved for all earnings.
There are other challenges as well, issues associated with the 10% Tendering such as how we can, or indeed if we can facilitate the growth in the Market within current agreements. Included in this exercise Has to Be the long outstanding issues around Spare Staff and those involving Marked-in positions, along with scheduling.
The issues at Bus Éireann has dominated a lot of debate over recent months, both internally and across various Media Platforms.
The Expressway being the issue which is very much central to almost every discussion among Bus Éireann Staff currently.
The issue of Pay culminated in a Labour Court appearance by all Parties on the 6th December last, a date which will forever be remembered as the day a State-Owned Company Refused to Engage in the long-standing practice of presenting at the Industrial Relations Court of Last Resort in order to Address Staff concerns on Pay.
Those responsible should hang their heads in shame, whilst Christmas generally is a time for exchanging greetings through kind words and deeds, we in the NBRU will not risk choking on verbal diarrhoea by extending any such good wishes to those whose sole interest appears to be the demise of Bus Éireann.
To those people, whether at Board, Department or Regulator level, the message from the NBRU is one of ‘we intend on carrying the fight to save Bus Éireann into every nook and cranny across this Country’.
Those who work in the Industry, those who rely on Bus Éireann across thousands of communities will be waiting a long time for the ‘Faceless Administrators’ to come down and explain why it is that their Policies run the risk of destroying a once proud Transport Company, one which took Generations of Bus Workers to build.
The NBRU has been taking that message into the communities over recent weeks, we will continue to do so into the New Year by engaging with local people through Public Meetings, we have also been contacting local politicians and impressing upon them that this battle is effectively one which they need to join, quite a number of those have already assisted by placing motions before County Councils and lobbying TD’s.
The issue of Pay will not just simply disappear, it is an issue we are determined to pursue, to the bitter end if necessary, it is all very well telling someone in Bus Éireann that ‘your Company is in trouble and pay may be difficult’ the premise being of course that Dublin Bus is different.
The differences between Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus from a worker point of view are so minimal as to not matter a jot. A Driver is a Driver, an Inspector is an Inspector, a Clerical Officer is a Clerical Officer etc.
Whilst the foregoing unfortunately contains quite an amount of negativity, whilst it creates all sorts of challenges, the NBRU will not found wanting when it comes to providing the leadership which is patently required here, doing nothing in the hope that ‘it will be alright on the night’ would be tantamount to a dereliction of our responsibilities and obligations to our members.
Members at Irish Rail find themselves in similar, if not exactly the same space as Bus Éireann in pursuing a long overdue and well deserved Pay Rise.
We are unfortunately faced with a Management who seem hellbent on forcing almost every Industrial Relation matter to the wire, sometimes beyond, a number of disputes in recent years support that fact.
The constant communications from the Company has got to a point where it appears that all we get is this mantra that ‘oh, we’re in financial difficulties, we’re in discussions with the Department and the NTA etc.’
In the middle of this we are presented with the spectacle of an Organisation that has become a parody of Oliver Twist in going to the Department, (yes, the same one that is turning a deaf ear to problems at Bus Éireann) and saying ‘please Sir can I have some more’ then going on to celebrate when it ‘secures extra funding’ how in the name of God can you call it extra funding when a report commissioned by the very body you are seeking funding from actually says the bloody place is already severely underfunded?
All of this farce is being played out against the backdrop of denying or at best, stymieing the request from its own staff to address the issue of pay, ignoring the fact that we are now heading into nine years since the last pay award.
A case of continuing with the Charles Dickens theme it would appear, with a bah humbug attitude towards Staff.
The last year has seen battles between the Company and Train Drivers, found less accusations of Trade Unions engaging in and supporting unofficial action among the issues being promulgated, all designed to demonise honest hardworking Rail Workers.
It now appears to be a ‘crime’ to want to improve one’s terms and conditions, an affront to have the temerity to actually say: ‘do you know what? I’ve had enough of being asked to put my shoulder to the wheel, I’ve paid my dues, I’ve cooperated with quite a lot, I am entitled to have a debate around pay improvement’.
The NBRU will of course vigorously pursue this Pay Rise for all Irish Rail Staff, again to the bitter end if necessary, we will, subject to advices from the Labour Court continue to seek ways to improve the conditions of Loco/Dart Drivers commensurate with colleagues in the UK and Northern Ireland.
The issues in relation to Pensions will be covered in a separate Notice in the New Year.
Finally, the General Officers and the National Executive Council of the NBRU would like to Wish all Staff and their Families across the CIE Group of Companies, a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.
Issued by the NBRU
54 Parnell Square
21st December 2016