The National Bus and Rail Union has said the threat of strike action at Bus Éireann remains strong.

Unions at Bus Éireann have suspended their threatened strike action on Monday to allow for negotiations aimed at resolving the dispute.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, NBRU General Secretary Dermot O'Leary said all parties involved in the bus dispute have been presented with a window of opportunity to sit down and discuss all the issues.

He said the NBRU decided to call off its action and hold discussions and "hopefully others will join in".

However, he said if the company went ahead with plans to impose pay cuts, the union would strike.

"As we understand it the company has postponed plans to implement unilateral cuts to our members' terms and conditions and by extension we have postponed our strikes.

"The strike is very much alive and will be triggered again if the company decides to revisit its draconian plan."

He said some stakeholders that should be involved in the discussions are not, referring to the Department of Transport and the National Transport Authority in particular.

Mr O'Leary said the union will not discuss a reduction in terms and conditions for its members "to prop up where the Government should step in and support rural bus services".

He said his members are involved in a public service provider and there is a cost service involved, similar to education and to health, and the Government needs to step in and support that service.