Dublin Bus unions are to meet management tomorrow in a bid to avert industrial action over pay and pensions.

Both SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union are preparing ballots for industrial action which will be complete by next week.

The dispute centres on a pay rise which was awarded to Dublin Bus staff as part of a settlement last October.

Under that agreement, the increase would not be made pensionable until 1 February.

However shortly before that date, Dublin Bus asked for an extension because other discussions were taking place at CIÉ group level in relation to pension issues.

Unions have refused to grant the extension, raising the prospect of industrial action in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the risk of an all-out indefinite strike at Bus Éireann from Monday 20 February remains if management proceeds to implement planned cost reduction measures on that date without agreement.