More bus strikes confirmed for next week
Date published: 14 January 2022
Firstbus drivers will be on strike again next week
Commuters are being warned of further disruption to buses next week as another strike by First Manchester bus drivers is set to go ahead.
The industrial action at the Oldham depot will take place next Tuesday 18th and Thursday 20th January.
It means no First Manchester services will run on these days.
This includes school services and the Yellow School Bus. Some routes will be covered by alternative serices and details can be found on the Transport For Greater Manchester website at www.tfgm.com.
The 300-plus drivers who are taking action are members of the Unite union, which says First Manchester is refusing to make its members a reasonable pay offer.
A key sticking point is the company’s refusal to backdate any pay increase to August 2021; the anniversary date for when the annual pay increase was due.
The workers have made it clear that they will no longer accept the current pay rate, with drivers currently earning £12.40 an hour.
Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: "Our members are taking strike action as a last resort. Despite numerous meetings, First Manchester’s management has either failed to understand or ignored our members’ aspirations.
"The ball is now firmly in First Manchester’s court. Unite remains available for further negotiations in order to resolve this dispute but the company needs to be willing to bring forward an improved offer."
Ian Humphreys, Managing Director of First Manchester, said: "Despite further talks and the efforts we have already made to meet what we were told were agreed demands, union officials have informed us the strikes will go ahead.
"The Company has offered a substantial increase to £13 per hour, along with a lump sum payment. We have also offered to equalise the rate for school bus drivers with that for service bus drivers which would mean an even greater increase for this group of colleagues.
“There are no changes to our colleagues’ conditions and whilst reference has also been made to rota patterns, this is simply about the introduction of a previously agreed, shared plan to update recruiting and working practices to fulfil the Company’s commitments to diversity in the workplace."
Customers with pre-bought tickets for both dates will be given a refund or replacement tickets to use for future travel. Further information can be found here.
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