herald

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Luas staff agree 13pc pay hike, but strike is still on as drivers hold out

Transdev Ireland managing director, Gerry Madden Photo: Photocall
Transdev Ireland managing director, Gerry Madden Photo: Photocall

Thursday's Luas strike is set to go ahead after crunch talks between drivers and Transdev ended in stalemate last night.

Non-driver staff yesterday vowed not to take to the picket line after striking a new deal with the company over pay and conditions.

Three grades of staff, not including tram drivers, voted overwhelmingly in favour of the revised proposal put forward last week, including a pay hike of up to 13pc.

But it's understood that drivers refused to accept the same deal in a row over the proposed entry-level pay cut for new recruits.

Speaking at Transdev headquarters in Dublin yesterday, Siptu's transport sector organiser Willie Noone said: "The new entrant rates was not as problematic with these three grades as they were with the drivers, and still are with the drivers.

"Two of these grades are promotional grades, so the amount of people coming in at the lower entrant rates are very, very small. The key thing was that some of the productivity items that had been a cause of concern with those three groups have been resolved," he said.

Under the agreement, workers can expect to see phased increases totalling 10pc in their wages over the next 33 months. An additional increment of around 3pc will also be paid to long-serving staff at Dublin's light-rail service.

Ballot

As the long-running dispute trundled on yesterday, revenue protection officers and traffic supervisors both voted to accept the deal by 75pc at the ballot, counted in the Red Cow depot.

Revenue protection supervisors also backed the proposal, which also sees staff receive a further one-off payment of €750 in November, by 85pc.

Welcoming yesterday's breakthrough, Transdev Ireland managing director Gerry Madden said the other grades had "recognised they had to give something in terms of productivity and be reasonable.

"If they did that, we'd be reasonable in return," he said.

"So, if the drivers are in that same space, then their colleagues have shown them the way. I think if they look at other grades, take a leaf out of their book, there's definitely a path to resolution here."

Last month, the red and green Luas lines ground to a halt during State commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Five further stoppages are planned for May as a shop steward last night warned that entry-level pay cuts remained a "red line issue" for drivers.

Siptu's Willie Noone added: "The drivers have said to the company that they are willing to look at alternative productivity issues in order to address whatever financial input is needed to get rid of those new entrance rates."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News