Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Timmy Dooley TD, says the current Bus Éireann dispute cannot be allowed to escalate as 114,000 exam students could be affected by a summer strike.
Yesterday in the Dáil, Deputy Dooley raised this issue and questioned the Minister for Transport on the Government’s response to the dispute between Bus Éireann management and staff over proposed cuts to annual leave and premium pay.
“Any strike during the Junior and Leaving Certs could have a very negative effect on students,” said Deputy Dooley.
“The Minister has decided to sit back and let this situation descend into possible strike action but he needs take a direct role in the dispute.
“I have already raised my concerns at the fact that management are seeking to impose these cuts on workers without their consent. There needs to be more engagement between management and staff and only through enhanced negotiations can a compromise be reached.
“Minister Varadkar failed to outline what actions he will take to broker a deal here. I am calling on the Minister to treat this with the seriousness it deserves and act as a mediator between management and unions.
“There will be no winners with industrial action, least of all the 114,000 students due to sit their state exams in June as well as the thousands who are currently sitting their third level exams. They could all find themselves without any transport to their schools or exam centres.
“The timeframe is extremely tight and I would urge Minister Varadkar to liaise with both sides to try and reach a speedy compromise.”