Ray Hernan
Acting CEO
Bus Éireann

Aidan Murphy
Chairperson
Bus Éireann

14 February 2017

URGENT

Unilateral and illegal breach of terms and conditions of members

Dear Sirs,
I refer to previous correspondence and most recently to Mr Ken Bryan’s letter of 8th February last addressed to ourselves and other unions.

We note and welcome Mr Bryan’s recognition that agreement will only come through negotiation.

However we also note Mr Bryan’s claim that we have, to date, declined to engage with the company to find a solution to the financial crisis and secure the longer term future for Bus Éireann. That is not true. Even in our strike notice of 3rd February, we reiterated our availability “for discussions should Bus Éireann wish to revert to negotiating instead of taking unilateral and provocative action”.

Mr Byran states that the company has always been willing to engage without pre-conditions. That is not our understanding of the basis on which the company is prepared to enter into negotiations and we would welcome the company’s clarification on its position in that regard.

The current position is that the company have imposed changes to be implemented on 20 February next which will have serious implications for our members’ terms and conditions including their rate of pay. This was done without negotiation and is blatant breach of our members’ rights, both contractual (and, in relation to pre-1986 employees, their statutory) entitlements.

The company’s failure or refusal to date to withdraw these imposed changes clearly imposes significant pre-conditions on the discussions in that the changes the company have proposed are already in train.

Some of the changes have already been implemented (the debarment from working a rest day for a three day period, for example) and others are scheduled to take effect this coming Monday 20 February.

The unilateral imposition of these changes, without agreement or negotiation, must be withdrawn before we can engage with the company, and other stakeholders as necessary, as we wish to do in order to find solutions. Our members have the right not to have their contracts of employment changed without their agreement, as the company have acknowledged in Mr Hernan’s letter of 18th January. The purpose of negotiations is to reach agreement. That cannot be done where the outcome of the negotiations is pre-determined by the imposition of unagreed changes.

We urge the company to withdraw the unlawful and unilateral changes which it has already implemented and/or which it purports to impose on our members with effect from 20 February and to enter into negotiations with us to reach agreement on solutions for the company.

As you are aware, the WRC have invited both parties to meet this afternoon. We confirm that we are planning to attend for the purpose of discussing the basis on which negotiations can be commenced.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

DERMOT O’LEARY

GENERAL SECRETARY

NATIONAL BUS AND RAIL WORKERS UNION

CC: Vivienne Jupp
Chairperson
Córas Iompair Éireann

Categories: Bus Eireann, Staff notice

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