Mismanagement and poor policy-making by government and NTA to blame for Bus Éireann crisis – Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport, Imelda Munster TD, has strongly condemned Bus Éireann’s ultimatum to workers, saying that it was not them who created this crisis, and has called the ultimatum “deliberate, targeted, provocative and demeaning”.
Bus Éireann management has proposed targeted measures, which Deputy Munster says will result in a reduction of over 25% in average pay, and has proposed the introduction of privatisation and outsourcing of work whereby additional drivers will be provided through the use of part time drivers, a pool of casual drivers and contractors at the discretion of management. The same savage measures are targeted at maintenance and clerical workers.
In relation to the granting of too many licences to private operators on some routes which has resulted in over-saturation, Deputy Munster accused the NTA of contradicting its own objectives and directly contributing to the loss-making by not adhering to their own objectives.
“The NTA states in its objectives that it will consider the demand or potential demand on routes in light of the needs of the public transport passenger and the services already being provided by the existing bus passenger services.”
“The proof is there in the Dublin to Cork route where saturation has seen seat capacity grow by 128%, Dublin to Limerick, similar at 111%, Waterford and other routes.”
Deputy Munster added that this was not the fault of the workers.
“This was government policy created through the NTA and implemented by Bus Éireann management which caused the financial crisis and loss-making”.
“Where is the punishment and where are the pay cuts for top heavy management salaries due to mismanagement and poor decision-making?”
Deputy Munster reiterated her call for all stakeholders, including the unions, to be involved in the future planning, protection and preservation of Expressway services.
“I have repeatedly made this call, and it was continuously rejected by both the government and the Minister for Transport. All stakeholders need to sit around the table, to plan for the future, to examine the structures and look at the routes that are now unprofitable due to over-saturation, to look at management costs, and also to look at the Department of Social Protection travel cost contribution which only covers 41% of the average fare and journey. This too has widely contributed to loss-making.”
“Bus Éireann management’s proposal is so provocative and so insulting to workers one would have to ask the question: are they trying to manipulate a case for the dismantling of Expressway by trying to narrow the crisis down to industrial relations?” ENDS