'Bus driving more stressful and hazardous than Luas' - report
Dublin Bus drivers are more highly skilled and face greater "mental requirements" than Luas drivers, according to a new job evaluation.
A review of the public transport roles has found Dublin Bus drivers' jobs are most demanding - although the total pay package is better at the Luas.
However, the report found it was a matter of opinion whether some benefits could offset or compensate for others.
It said bus drivers' travel concessions, guaranteed defined benefit pensions and a free GP service are better than what is on offer to light rail drivers.
Bus drivers get a range of travel concessions not available to Luas drivers, including include free travel and reduced fares on the bus and rail network, plus two free Irish Ferries tickets a year.
The report, by former Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy, concluded that the role of a bus driver "can properly be classified as being of greater value" than that of a light rail tram driver.
It comes as pay talks are due to begin at Dublin Bus following the expiry of a previous wage agreement.
"The mental requirements inherent in the role of a bus driver are greater than those inherent in the role of a tram driver," the report added.
It said there is no material difference in the physical demands required in both jobs.
However, it found extra mental effort is required of bus drivers as they share the road with other traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.
Pay is better for Luas drivers, mainly due to a bonus scheme, and the pay scale will range from €32,909 to €49,972 next year.
Maternity leave pay is significantly better for bus drivers, but paternity leave is the same for both.
The report was unable to reach a definitive conclusion on the hazards associated with each occupation.
"However... I would be inclined to the view that the job of a bus driver, is more stressful and can be more hazardous," said Mr Duffy.
The independent evaluation was carried out for Dublin Bus, Siptu and the NBRU following an agreement at the Workplace Relations Commission.
It was asked to examine the unions' claim that bus drivers' terms and conditions had fallen behind their Luas counterparts'.
NBRU general secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "The timing of the report is significant, given that the NBRU did, as part of our original pay claim in February 2016, seek to have pay parity with tram drivers, inclusive of having all bus drivers pay treated for pension purposes."