Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Public Transport

Photo of Joan CollinsJoan Collins (Dublin South Central, United Left)
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32. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport regarding the privatisation of publicly owned bus services and in view of the debacle that was Greyhound, his views that TUPE is not adequate protection for Dublin Bus-Bus Éireann workers who will be transferred to private operators because of the Government-/National Transport Authority decision to privatise 10% of the bus market. [46335/14]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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Neither Dublin Bus nor Bus Éireann are being privatised.  However, the direct award contracts for the provision of Public Service Obligation (PSO) bus market services held by the two companies expired at the end of November.  The awarding of subsequent contracts is the statutory responsibility of the National Transport Authority (NTA). All Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus routes have been included in the new five year direct award contracts between the companies and the NTA for the period to end of November 2019.  The NTA announced that 10% of publicly subvented bus services will only remain within the direct award contract until the end of 2016 after which they will be operated under separate contract that will have been competitively tendered, rather than privatised as the Deputy suggests.

It is recognised that there are a number of concerns in relation to potential tendering for PSO services however modest the proposals may seem to some.  These include the impact on industrial relations and cost savings measures within CIÉ at a general level and the specific implications of TUPE and related issues surrounding pensions.

I wrote to unions on 18th July welcoming their participation in a process in the LRC to assist with the areas of concern. Five meetings have taken place at the LRC involving unions, companies and the NTA, with the latest on 14th November. A number of unions have also sought a meeting with me to outline their concerns and I have agreed to a meeting to be held on 15th December.


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