SIPTU members in Irish Rail have called for pay rises that are in line with those achieved by other workers in the transport sector and have rejected a management attempt to link them to further increases in productivity. SIPTU Organiser, Paul Cullen, said: “In the lead up to the beginning of talks between unions and the company, the management of Irish Rail has attempted to link pay rises for our members with further increases in productivity. Such an approach is completely unacceptable to our members who have not had a pay rise since 2008. During the period 2008 to 2013, staff costs in Irish Rail have been reduced in real terms by nearly €36 million. "All staff are now seeking pay increases which are in line with their colleagues in Dublin Bus, Luas and other transport companies. Staff have already contributed to substantial increases in productivity over recent years and passenger numbers are now back at 2009 levels with rail operations at the company once again in a profit generating situation. The situation is that the financial predictions for rail operations have been revised as they have exceeded targets on a number of occasions. “The reality is that such profits are being spent at the behest of the National Transport Authority (NTA) on various projects. Our members are witnessing such spending on increased consultancy and other external employment in managerial roles." He added: “The company does have a historic debt which results from reductions in its state subvention until 2013. An Irish Rail and National Transport Authority (NTA) report in 2016 recognised the need for this situation to be addressed. “SIPTU members in Irish Rail have a very reasonable expectation of a pay rise. The management agenda that our members should pay for any pay rises through increased productivity while continuing to to subsidise the cost of public transport will be steadfastly rejected. Rather our members wish to see all parties to the discussions act reasonably in order to avoid what is increasingly looking like another dispute in the transport sector.”