Bus Éireann management and union representatives have reached an interim agreement that will allow Bus Éireann services to run as normal tomorrow.

Talks are continuing between the two sides at the Labour Relations Commission. Sources close to the discussions said they could go well into the early hours of the morning.

Both agreed to operate a full Bus Éireann schedule tomorrow and that if an agreement is not reached 24 hours notice will be given of any disruption to service.

Earlier, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said he would rather go back to a strike situation than end up with a deal that fails to deliver the savings needed to protect Bus Éireann services and passengers.

Mr Varadkar said savings were necessary to protect services and passengers.

He said it was his priority to protect Bus Éireann passengers and a deal that did not do that was not good enough.

Talks between union and management representatives are continuing today at the Labour Relations Commission.

Bus Éireann said both sides were engaging positively ahead of a midnight deadline.

Services are operating normally after a strike by the National Bus and Rail Union was suspended for 48 hours on Monday night.

A ballot for a strike by SIPTU members in Bus Éireann will be counted tomorrow.

SIPTU is also balloting its members in Irish Rail and Dublin Bus on industrial action in solidarity with its members at the bus company who refused to pass NBRU pickets on Sunday and Monday.

Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said Bus Éireann was under fierce pressure financially, but the fact that management and unions were engaging was positive.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said he does not expect the current strike to extend beyond Bus Éireann into other parts of CIÉ.

"I don't think the question has seriously arisen of the dispute going outside of the existing company and I think there are genuine efforts being made, as I understand it, by unions and management to reach a resolution," he said.

All Bus Éireann commuter services in the greater Dublin area are operating while services in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Sligo, Mayo, Donegal, Athlone, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare and Kerry are also running normally.