Date Released: 23 February 2015
SIPTU members share the public’s concern over the impact on rural communities of the proposal to cut almost 100 Bus Éireann services, including in the south-east, the west and north-west, that was revealed today (Monday, 23rd February).
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Willie Noone, said: “The result of these cuts will be that some villages and towns are left with no public transport links to Dublin. Jobs will also be lost in Bus Éireann and if services are restored a private company will provide them, ensuring inferior employment conditions for workers.
“The cuts to services announced today are on routes which are not provided with state funding under the Public Service Obligation (PSO) system. Management has said that the reason for the cuts is that the routes are not profitable. Therefore, they should be allocated state funding through the PSO.”
He added: “At present Bus Éireann is at a disadvantage when competing against a private operator on a route as it provides a pension provision for workers and cannot operate below cost. Private operators can operate below cost for a period of time and when Bus Éireann vacates the route they can then apply for a PSO subsidy from the National Transport Authority.
“This unfair position is just one of the many issues facing our members in the public transport sector. They have been subject to savage pay cuts over the past 18 months, face losing 10% of PSO routes due to NTA proposals to increase ‘competition’ in transport provision while management has said even more services could be cut.
"Our members in Bus Éireann have already contributed to the survival of the company by agreeing major changes to their terms and conditions of employment. Unless a proper public debate about the provision and funding of public transport occurs now the future for bus transport could well be industrial conflict and reductions in services for the public.”