February 25th: Unite’s lead Regional Officer for public transport, Davy McMurray called for management at Translink to provide detail on their proposals to cut expenditure on management waste to his union.
“On the eve of Unite’s ballots for strike action opening in Translink, corporate management announce £2.1 million in annualised ‘savings’ through rationalisation of management. Our members won’t fall for this transparent, eleventh-hour attempt to pull the wool over their eyes.
“Why did it take so long for Translink to finally recognise that their management structures are inefficient? In 2010, the company conducted an efficiency review of frontline services which resulted in frontline workers losing their jobs – but that didn’t include any assessment of management.
“Unite has long argued that very significant efficiencies could be easily achieved by rationalising management structures within Translink. At present there are up to 13 tiers of management between drivers and the Minister, and we are not that sure what any of them are doing. This situation is replicated across Ulsterbus, Metroline and NI Rail so that we have three parallel sets of management structures all of which appear bloated.
“While the proposed cuts appear significant, they do not amount to the scale of efficiencies we believe could be delivered through a thoroughgoing restructuring of Translink (as we have proposed in the past). We are particularly concerned that management have provided no detail on these cost savings.
“What is clear is that even with these management savings and the impact of the fares hike on revenues, the bulk of the ‘savings’ required will have to be found by targeting bus and rail services and those who work on them for the most severe cuts”, Mr McMurray concluded.