Luas staff expected to reject proposed pay rises

Luas staff are expected to reject a proposed new pay deal drawn up last week in a bid to resolve an on-going industrial dispute at the company.

Any rejection of the deal, which included rises of up to 18.7 per cent over 33 months, would almost certainly lead to further strikes on the light rail system on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

The four grades of Luas staff are currently voting on the pay proposals and ballots will be counted at teatime on Thursday. However, well placed sources suggested the rejection of the proposed deal was likely.

The pay proposals had been drawn up following marathon talks at the Workplace Relations Commission last week.

Luas operator Transdev has said the proposed deal put froward following the days at the Workplace Relations commission represented its final offer.

The trade union Siptu, which represents Luas workers, has already served notice on Luas operator Transdev for two more stoppages on Saturday and Sunday April 2nd and 3rd, and on Saturday and Sunday, April 23rd and 24th.

Sources suggested on Wednesday that if Luas staff rejected the new pay proposals,there was a liklihood of a series of strikes each month into the summer.

Under the pay proposals, Luas drivers were to receive increases of about 18.7 per cent over a period of just under three years while revenue protection staff were set to receive about 14.7 per cent under the new proposals .

The proposed increases for drivers, averaging at more than six per cent annually, would be about twice the projected level for rises in the private sector this year.

The deal for drivers would have involved some productivity measures including potentially a longer daily shift from nine hours to nine and a half hours on some occasions – within the existing working week of 39 hours – as well as possible changes to the timing of lunch breaks on some days.

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