SIPTU members employed as bus drivers with Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann handed in a letter at the offices of the National Transport Authority (NTA) in Dublin, today (Thursday, 24th November), calling for an urgent meeting to discuss recruitment issues which are adversely impacting public transport services. SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Murphy, said: “SIPTU representatives are seeking a meeting with the National Transport Authority over increasing difficulties in recruiting new drivers into public transport. There is an urgent need to address this problem so as the significant investment in public transport services has the necessary professional drivers to deliver these services for all communities. Having adequate drivers for these services is also vital if we are to encourage private transport users to make the switch to public transport.” He added: “While we are aware that recruitment issues are prevalent in other industries at present, it behoves the NTA and all stakeholders within our industry to proactively look at positive ways to attract and recruit the necessary skills needed now and for the future.” Dublin Bus worker and SIPTU National Executive Committee member, Stephen Millane, said: “While pay is a key factor in attracting new entrants to the industry, it is not the only factor. Issues such low starting rates, unsociable working hours, reduction in the working week and safety concerns should be looked at and improved as a means of attracting workers.” He added: “SIPTU representatives will continue to negotiate with all public transport operators on behalf of our more than 6000  members within the industry. However, we believe that a central discussion needs to occur with the National Transport Authority, so as the industry, as a whole, can be improved and can attract the vital skills needed to deliver a first-class service for customers into the future.”