Updated: 10/04/17 : 12:19:52
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Buses could return to normal service tomorrow

SIPTU has said it hopes buses will be back on the road tomorrow after union officials leave talks on the Bus Éireann dispute at the Workplace Relations Commission with a proposal for their members.

Willie Noone, Transport Sector Organiser with SIPTU, said hard decisions will be made today, and he expects to come out of the talks this evening with a proposal to be put to a ballot.

"How long they will be on the road will depend on the outcome of the ballot," he said.

He said there is a balance between losing jobs and maintaining as many decent jobs as possible.

Mr Noone said it is not within the union's control to maintain the number of jobs that are in the company at the moment.

He said the Government ultimately decides what services there are around the country, and ultimately decides how many jobs will be in Bus Éireann.

Mr Noone said he expects more job losses than the 120 quoted in draft proposals yesterday.

Draft proposals from the talks, seen by RTÉ News, include a measure where 120 drivers would leave the company within the next year.

The document also proposes increased driver co-operation with regard to implementing on-board IT systems.

It is understood potential measures that would affect management will be discussed when the talks resume.

Unions earlier said they were committed to achieving a resolution in the next 24 hours after talks with management were adjourned last night.

They also said all parties to the talks were committed to achieving a resolution by today.

While saying clarity was achieved on a number of issues, the National Bus and Rail Union also reiterated its call for Government stakeholders to get involved in the talks.

Dermot O'Leary of the NBRU said that staff are being asked to commit to a major cultural change that would ordinarily take years to implement in the workplace.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he added that there were efficiencies that can be gained and in the larger urban areas there will be an imperative for drivers to drive more.

Pickets are to remain in place during the negotiations as the strike enters its 18th day.