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No agreement in bus dispute 18 December 2012

The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure can confirm that unfortunately this morning’s negotiations to attempt to resolve the bus dispute have not made the progress needed for industrial action to be avoided.

The Department had hoped to be able to limit the impact of the savings it has to make on bus drivers’ individual earnings by offsetting the cost of that with a range of efficiency gains. Sadly this has not proved possible. The Department had particularly hoped to progress the drivers’ suggestion of changing sick pay entitlement but this was ruled out by the union. The union’s final position was that Treasury should be asked to find the additional money needed to bridge the gap between the value of those changes that could be agreed and the amount that has to be saved. This is not possible.

The Department remains happy to discuss ways in which the annual savings can be found but it will continue to apply the new contracts recently issued to all drivers. No driver who has had to make the choice about the new contract has decided to leave the Department’s employment.

Hon Graham Cregeen, MHK commented:

'It is unfortunate that the drivers’ representatives still do not accept the financial difficulties that face both the Department and the Island; at least we are able to use our heritage railways and a number of non-union drivers to deliver the core services at this important time. I urge people needing any travel information to check online using the website details published or contact the Welcome Centre on 663366 between the hours of 8am and 6pm.'

The emergency measures put in place to provide access to some public transport are now confirmed. Bus and rail timetables for the strike days have been released online:,-traffic-and-motoring/bus-strike-timetables/

The timetables will be in operation on Thursday 20, Friday 21 and Saturday 22 December 2012.

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