Bus Éireann Dispute
22 March 2017
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures he has taken to resolve the Bus Éireann dispute; the number of times and when he has met with Bus Éireann management; the number of times and when he has met with the trade unions involved since 1 January 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Brendan Ryan.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017.
Ref No: 14238/17
Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
In recent months I have taken action on a number of fronts in order to address issues raised by stakeholders in Bus Éireann.
I have increased the amount of Public Service Obligation (PSO) funding so that in 2017 almost €263million will be provided to the NTA to allocate to public transport operators. That figure represents an 11% increase on 2016 and I have publicly committed toward further increasing the level of PSO funding in coming years as financial resources permit.
I have assured rural Ireland that the NTA will continue to use its statutory powers to ensure public transport connectivity is maintained for rural communities affected by changes to routes in the commercial bus market.
I have written to my colleague the Minister for Social Protection in relation to concerns about the level of funding associated with the Free Travel Scheme and we have mandated our Departments to work together to review this matter.
In relation to the company's industrial relations issues, I am clear that I cannot and will not involve myself in discussions relating to the way in which the Company organises itself. I have consistently urged both Bus Éireann management and trade unions to constructively engage on those internal matters which require attention within the Company.
Since January 1st 2017 I have met with the Chair of Bus Éireann on two occasions, January 12th and January 30th. I have not had any meetings with the Bus Éireann trade unions in the same period.