More than 2,800 Dublin Bus drivers are set for pay rises worth more than €7,000 each to combat the cost of living.
hey will ballot next week on a proposed 15.5pc wage hike over the course of five years.
Their unions – Siptu and the National Bus and Railworkers Union (NBRU) – have not issued a recommendation.
Sources described it as the best that could be achieved through the industrial relations process.
If accepted, the proposed deal means the average driver who works five days a week will get a total increase of more than €7,000 by January 2025 because the initial pay rises are backdated.
Their basic pay, which now stands at €44,699, will rise to €49,087 by January next year, and €52,077 by January 1, 2025.
The proposed package is backdated to 2019, which means much of it will be paid upfront.
A total of 9.5pc will be paid by January 1 next and the full award will be in wage packets less than two-and-a-half years from now. The court recommended a lump sum of €1,000 to cover 2019 and 2020.
This would be followed by increases worth 3pc for last year and 3.5pc in July this year. Following this, there would be 3pc increases in January each year up to January 2025.
Details of the deal are likely to be closely watched by public- and private-sector unions engaged in talks with employers on cost-of-living increases as inflation soars.
The Government and the main employer group Ibec have warned that employers cannot chase inflation.
In a notice to Dublin Bus drivers, Siptu and the NBRU said they had circulated details of the package that was recommended by the Labour Court to members. The message said senior union representatives had requested a breakdown of the pay claim.
“The cumulative increase for a five-over-seven-days driver from January 2023 (less than six months) will be approximately €84.40 per week, or an approximate total of €4,390 per year, which equates from a current base rate of €44,699.72 to approximately €49,087,” the notice stated.
“The cumulative increase for a 5/7 driver in January 2025 will be approximately
€141.90 per week, i.e. annual salary of €52,077.”
Drivers who work a five-days-per-week shift pattern are the biggest group of drivers at the company.
Pay for drivers who work between Monday and Friday will rise from €42,284 to €49,263, and from €38,055 to €44,366 for drivers working four days a week.
Sunday and public holiday premium payments will remain in place.
Unions had sought increases worth 19pc. This was made up of retrospective increases worth 2pc for 2019 and 2020, plus a 3.75pc increase each year from last year until 2024.
Dublin Bus offered 11pc and sought efficiencies.
Balloting on the Dublin Bus deal comes after more than 4,000 workers at Iarnród Éireann voted in favour of a 10.5pc pay rise over five years.
Chief executive Jim Meade said the “landmark” five-year pay deal that would run to 2027 would underpin a new era of industrial relations at Iarnród Éireann.
“It is an agreement which was negotiated directly, without intermediaries or the intervention of the industrial relations machinery of the State, and without rancour and conflict,” he said.
The pay agreement was backed by 75pc by members of the NBRU, Siptu, TSSA and Connect.
Staff will get 3.5pc this year, 2.5pc next year, and a 1.5pc “cost of living” increase each year for 2024, 2025 and 2026.
An additional 1.5pc productivity pay rise will be paid for
the three years from 2024 to 2026 “subject to efficiencies being obtained”.