SIPTU is recommending to 212 tram drivers operating the Luas in Dublin that they accept a Labour Court recommendation that they receive a six per cent pay increase over two years.
SIPTU sector organiser, John Murphy said on Friday that members will be balloted next Friday concerning the Labour Court recommendation.
Mr Murphy said: "Our committee is recommending acceptance of the recommendation."
He said: “The current pay rates compare favourably with Road Transport rates but are behind the current rates in the heavy rail sector. In saying that, the rates have been improving year-on-year, and we expect this to continue.”
The operator of the Luas is French owned Transdev and a Transdev spokeswoman said: “We received the Labour Court’s recommendation on the pay issue with the driver grade, and we note its contents.”
She said: "Due to the significant impacts of Covid-19 and rising energy costs, like a lot of businesses, our financial outlook is very challenging, and we are in consultation with head office on the matter. In the meantime, we will not be commenting further.”
In the Labour Court recommendation, chairman, Kevin Foley has recommended a pay increase of 2.5 per cent with effect from January 1st 2021 and a further 3.5 per cent pay increase with effect from January 1st this year.
SIPTU was seeking a pay increase of 3.5 per cent per annum for five years commencing on January 1st 2021 and maintained that these increases should not be linked to a 'mutual gains' framework.
In response, Transdev was proposing a 2.5 per cent pay increase and a further 2.5 per cent on each of three years commencing on January 1st 2022.
However, Transdev stated that this proposal was contingent on certain flexibilities being achieved based on a ‘mutual gains’ model which was agreed with SIPTU.
Mr Foley stated that it was the court’s conclusion that, in some significant respects, the positions presented to the court by the parties represent a dispute which has widened rather than narrowed.
Mr Foley stated that in the event that SIPTU in the future submits a claim to address pay matters with effect from January 1st 2023 it will be a matter for Transdev to table any position based on ‘mutual gains’ in the process of responding to that claim should it decide to do so.
Mr Foley stated that the parties should recognise however the value of achieving an agreement at this time “which responds constructively if not comprehensively” to the SIPTU claim.