Statement by Minister Donohoe in response to proposed industrial action on May 1st

13th April, 2015

In response to the NBRU’s announcement of industrial action to take place on 1st May, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, this evening (Monday) said:  ‘Bus-based public transport is a crucial element of our response to dealing with congestion as the economy grows. As we continue to develop further, I expect to see growth in bus services at both companies.


“In a bid to support the companies, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann were paid over €90 million in PSO payments by the taxpayer last year, over and above passenger fare income, to provide public bus services.  A further €90 million funding was also provided for new buses and the upgrading of the fleet.  I recently put on record my commitment to securing an increase in the subvention provided to the companies to deliver additional services and increased frequencies for commuters.  It is my strong belief that such taxpayer support for improved bus services should be given in conjunction with a degree of competition and I am committed to the tendering of 10% of bus routes being implemented by the National Transport Authority. It must be noted that both Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are open to compete for the routes being put out to tender.


“The Competition Authority in its submission to the NTA’s public consultation process highlighted that the international experience for tendering of PSO services has been favourable, with benefits accruing in terms of improved service quality, a more integrated transport system and greater value for taxpayers’ money.


“It is disappointing that the NBRU and SIPTU withdrew from discussions being facilitated by the Labour Relations Commission.  These discussions had been aimed at addressing employee concerns about how the tendering of 10% of routes might impact them and were making significant progress.   There was particular focus on facilitating the vast majority of employees to remain in either Dublin Bus or Bus Éireann if either company did not succeed in the tendering process.  This was on the basis of growth in bus frequencies on the routes remaining with Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann.  The talks were also focused on protecting the terms and conditions of any employees who do transfer to other operators and it was made clear during the discussions that their pensions provisions would also be maintained.”