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Stagecoach Regrets Further Industrial Action

Media Release
24 March 2005

Stagecoach Regrets Further Industrial Action in the Auckland Area

Auckland commuter bus company Stagecoach has expressed disappointment following the decision by the Combined Unions not to return to the negotiating table and instead, to proceed with a range of disruptive industrial action from this Tuesday.

Operations Director, Warren Fowler, said Stagecoach had made the offer of 12% over three years, including 7.6% in the first year, specifically to avoid this sort of disruption to the public.

“The offer we have made to the Union means that drivers’ pay rates remain well ahead of inflation and in line with general wage movements over the last five years. At 7.6% in the first year it is well ahead of the 5% being called for by the country’s largest union, the EPMU. The highest paid full time driver in the Auckland area receives more than $55,000 per year with the top ten drivers receiving at least $53,000.

“Overall, our pay rates are the best in the industry.

“The last thing we want is industrial action because of the disruption it causes to the public, but it seems inevitable. Auckland needs top notch public transport to help overcome its congestion problems. The company and our drivers spend a great deal of effort building confidence in and commitment to public transport and disruption of any sort can undermine this effort. So we are very keen to keep the network fully operational.

“I want to make it quite clear that we are prepared to talk to find a way through this disagreement,” says Mr Fowler.

Stagecoach will attempt to minimise disruption and will keep the public informed where industrial action impacts on services.

The public should continue to monitor the Stagecoach website, www.stagecoach.co.nz, or call Rideline on 366 6400, for updates regarding bus services

ENDS

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