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Snippet Contents:

I can confirm to Deputy Regina Doherty that I cannot subvent commercial services. Bus Éireann can neither use profits from PSO services to subvent these services nor can it make profits from school bus services. I do not know whether school bus services will be affected. That will be a union call, and it is up to the unions to decide whether they want to affect the school services.
In answer to Deputy Walsh, the process has been going on for 11 months, at first with the LRC, then in the Labour Court. The court made its recommendation three months ago and we returned to the LRC and asked it to see if that could be tweaked. Those talks did not go anywhere. At the request of union leaders at senior level I was asked to intervene to defer implementation, which was done. Time has now run out. The company is in a position whereby it will not be able to pay the bills in the coming months because, unfortunately, 11 months were spent getting nowhere, which is very sad. Talks can continue at any time and place until 12 May but on that day the Labour Court recommendations will be implemented. There is no alternative. My role is to tell the people the truth about that and I hope people present, when they assess that, will understand it is the truth and will tell people over whom they have influence that this is the case. In addition, my role is to put in place contingencies in so far as it is possible to put in place alternatives, and to provide information where possible. That is what my Department and the National Transport Authority are now doing.
Deputies Joan Collins and Broughan pointed out that most of the staff in Bus Éireann are on modest core pay, which is entirely correct. It is also correct that core pay is not being reduced in these proposals. In fact, it is not being cut at all in Bus Éireann.