Dublin Bus has told staff it needs annual savings of €15 million euro in order to return to break-even in 2013.

The company does not have immediate plans to reduce basic pay, but said this would depend on successful completion of the plan, as well as the general economic and financial trends.

However, it wants a continuing pay freeze to the end of December 2014.

It also intends to axe 32 jobs from the workforce which currently stands at 3253.

The management proposals include a review of working arrangements - including cuts in overtime, premium and shift payments, sick leave and annual leave entitlements. They are also seeking a longer working week for management and administrative staff.

New recruits will start on lower rates of pay and may be recruited on a four day week basis.

However, the company stressed that the plan would not affect Dublin Bus customers.

In 2009, Dublin Bus implemented a cost reduction package which has delivered €58 million in annual savings. It included a 16% cut in the workforce, a 21% cut in the Dublin Bus fleet and a pay freeze since 2008.

However, the company says it is incurring additional costs and loss of revenue of around E15 million this year due to the reduction in government subvention, increased fuel costs, loss of advertising revenue and integrated ticketing costs.

At a meeting this morning, management said the company had experienced a 21% decline in passenger numbers and a E49 million loss in customer revenue.

The government subvention to the company fell by €16.2 million and further reductions are expected.

In addition, fuel is costing an extra €14 million a year.

The company hopes to reach agreement on the plan by August 13.

Staff at Iarnród Éireann are currently balloting on restructuring proposals which include 450 redundancies and changes to working conditions with a view to implementation in September.

Meanwhile management and unions at Bus Eireann opened negotiations on Wednesday on a cost reduction package.

SIPTU Transport Sector Organiser Willie Noone warned that while basic pay might not be cut, reductions in allowances would result in real cuts in take home pay for employees.

He warned that industrial action was a possibility.