The Labour Court has issued a recommendation aimed at resolving the four month Luas drivers dispute over pay.

Strikes by drivers have closed down the Dublin light rail service for 12 days since February, with a further six four-hour hour stoppages scheduled from Thursday.

Luas drivers had previously rejected a proposal brokered at the Workplace Relations Commission on the grounds that it did not deliver sufficient pay rises, demanded excessive productivity, and that lower pay rates for new entrants were unacceptable.

In the recommendation Labour Court Chairman Kevin Duffy addresses those issues.

On pay, he recommends increases ranging from 15.6% to 18.3% between now and September 2020 - with a 2.5% Long Service Increment included after three years at the maximum of the pay scale.

On productivity, Mr Duffy recommends that Luas operator Transdev should shelve its plans to increase the daily duty spread from nine hours to nine-and-a-half hours.

The 10% reduction in pay for new entrants for the first three years is to be the subject of a review no later than 18 months from the date the recommendation is accepted.

Mr Duffy said this review should be conducted by reference to a review of the issue to be undertaken between public service unions and employers.

He notes that the 6.5% bonus for this year has been forfeited - but recommends a €750 lead in payment subject to the drivers accepting this recommendation.

Other outstanding non-cost issues highlighted by drivers are to be referred back to the WRC for conciliation - but the parties can return to the court if no agreement can be reached.

Mr Duffy also recommends that Transdev and SIPTU should conduct a joint review of pay and conditions in light rail operations across Europe to ascertain if the Luas conditions are out of line with European operators.

The Labour Court chair also recommends that if the recommendation is accepted, the 10% pay cut imposed during the dispute should be restored and repaid.

The sick pay scheme which was suspended should be reinstated, with all arrears paid.

Any members stood down during the dispute for part of a shift during normal working days should be paid monies owed.

SIPTU said it will be meeting the drivers tomorrow for a process of consultation, after which there will be a ballot on the proposals.

Luas operator Transdev said the Labour Court recommendations involved a number of elements that have additional cost implications over the lifetime of their operating contract and beyond which will need to be carefully assessed.

It said the company will also be consulting with internal and external stakeholders over the coming days and will issue a considered response towards the end of the week.

Transdev added that in the meantime, it will be making no further comment.