Bus Éireann Statement February 21st, 2017
The company has attempted to negotiate with the unions and has put every conceivable issue on the table without pre-conditions in an effort to address the financial crisis and ensure longer term competitiveness. The unions response to date has been to refuse to negotiate any change to terms and conditions, insist on a pay rise and seek compensation for staff who may have had a reduction in overtime earnings over the last few weeks.
The company cost structure is inefficient with drivers on average being paid for 9.4 hours per day (1.6 hours of this at overtime premium rates) when they only drive for 5.5 hours on scheduled services. The tax payer is paying excessively for the services currently provided.
What is clear at this stage is that the unions have no intention of reaching an agreement which will address the financial crisis. At current run rates of losses, the company could be insolvent by May. Immediate reductions in cost and improved efficiency are absolutely necessary to address the financial crisis.These initiatives must result in payroll savings of €12m now. The unions have refused to negotiate on terms and conditions which means that the insolvency issue cannot be addressed. Re-structurring is essential for longer term competitiveness but will not address the immediate insolvency crisis.
We will now seriously consider our position and advise our staff in due course of the necessary steps which must be taken to avoid insolvency.
Tuesday, 21st February, 2017