A proposal by Bus Éireann to freeze pay for workers for two years has provoked an “angry reaction from busworkers across the country”, according to Cork TD Mick Barry who raised the issue with the Taoiseach on Tuesday.
The Socialist party TD voiced his strong opposition to the two year pay freeze in the Dáil, saying it is effectively a “massive pay cut” in the face of rising inflation.
“When the pandemic raged, bus drivers kept society on the move, risking their health day after day, as key frontline workers,” he said during Taoiseach’s questions.
"When prices go up and up and up, this represents a massive pay cut.
What do you say about this situation? Do you think this is what the drivers deserve?” he asked.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said it was “not his understanding” that this is the case.
“That's not my understanding, but I'll follow that up,” he replied to Deputy Barry.
The proposal has been put forward by Bus Éireann in correspondence with trade unions, with the company citing losses made during the pandemic, the rising cost of fuel and the challenges faced by competing with private operators who pay lower wages as grounds for the pay freeze.