Mr Ray Hernan
Acting CEO
Bus Éireann
Broadstone Bus Depot
Dublin 7

22nd March 2017

Re: Media Reports of a 41% Increase in Losses at Expressway

Dear Sir,

I refer to the above and wish to express my concern in relation to the reported 41% increase to losses at Expressway.

The NBRU had already indicated our willingness to assist in addressing the Expressway crisis, (previous correspondence) by engaging in an efficiency based agenda; it would appear that this offer has, to-date fallen on deaf ears.

However, it is the actual losses which I am interested in at this point, there being ambiguity with regards to what it is we are actually spatting over.

It would appear that the letter of the 21st September last from the then CEO to all Staff in which a figure of €6 million was mentioned, may be closer to the real Revenue deficit at Expressway.

I understand that the issue of third party claims may have become a factor in relation to how the current losses are being assessed.

I wonder if you can confirm if changes in how the potential cost of third party claims are being projected, has had an impact on the current losses that are being widely reported by the media?

I think it only reasonable that the Staff at Bus Éireann and the travelling public should be properly informed as to what the actual Revenue losses are at Expressway, particularly in advance of potential strike action, brought about by the Company’s stated intention of introducing unilateral cuts to pay and agreed conditions.

My office has been inundated with queries from driver members over the last week, asking if the deficit at the Company they work for is suffering losses of €9 million, why is it that there is a requirement to seek €5 million from their portion of the payroll?

It is obviously a question we are not in a position to answer, though we have quite openly informed all of our members that we are committed to engaging on an efficiency based agenda as a component of an overarching and sustainable solution.

The apparent determination of Bus Éireann to force its own Staff onto the picket lines to fix a deficit of either €6 or €9 million, from a an overall annual spend of €330 million, of which €133 million is payroll, is presenting difficulties for our members in terms of fully understanding what it is actually going on here.

Maybe you, as Acting CEO will be of assistance here by explaining the following:

 Can you break down and pinpoint exactly how the losses at Expressway have increased by 41% in a twelve month period?

 Can you provide figures for the Revenue losses at Expressway for February 2016 and the corresponding figures for February 2017?

 Can you explain in as much detail as is possible why it is that Bus Éireann are pursuing a savings target of €30 million of which €12 million is from payroll?

 Can you explain why the offer of extensive, time bound discussions around efficiencies, from which short term savings can be found has apparently been spurned by Bus Éireann?

 Is the alleged €9 million loss for 2016 an actual operational loss are is this an accounting loss made up of other variables?

 What is the operational profit/loss for each Expressway region in the country?

 Is there any superfluous spending outside of payroll that could be targeted instead?

 Have you considered other options that would alleviate the immediate cash flow and solvency issues and create a headroom for detailed and comprehensive discussions?

Yours Sincerely,

Dermot O’Leary
General Secretary
National Bus and Rail Union

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