Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Government needs to consult with bus drivers

Government needs to consult with bus drivers if it wants to get its transport plan right

The government’s announcement of a whopping $28 billion dollars toward public transport today comes as another strike notice is issued from bus drivers.

Birkenhead drivers are the latest scheduled to take part in strike action as more bus company drivers join disputes over unfair bus driver pay and unsafe work conditions.

Around 50 drivers will strike Auckland and specifically North Shore depots.

This follows NZ Bus returning to the table and eventually coming to an arrangement with workers after its drivers took rolling strike action last week. Pavlovich drivers remain in negotiations with their employer, and bargaining is continuing next week. Members from two other companies are expected to strike in the coming weeks. It’s all part of a collective push back from union bus drivers against a wearing down of driver pay and work conditions, largely brought on by a council tendering process initiated by the previous government (the Public Transport Operating Model or PTOM).

Drivers want an alternative to the PTOM, and the issues that it has caused to be settled. While these include rostering and pay issues, for Birkenhead buses the negotiation focus is to stop the company bringing in a flat rate, and a slow removal of allowances as established drivers leave the company. Union members want rates that attract new drivers to the company, and allowances and conditions that help retain drivers.

FIRST Union Organiser Graham McKean says the company’s attempt to slowly erode drivers’ pay and work conditions shows a lack of understanding of what the job entails, and a lack of care for other people. He says Auckland bus drivers have had enough.

“We need requirements in place that remind companies that drivers are people too with lives outside of work, and that they are people who’re responsible for 50-60 other passengers’ wellbeing. Bus drivers earn substantially less than truck drivers yet people’s lives are vastly more valuable than commodities.

In reference to the government’s announcement today Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the money will be invested in improving services and creating a 21st century transport network.

Mr McKean says investing in improved services must include investing in the working people who run the service.

“If Government wants a world class transport system, world class rates and conditions should be implemented.”

He says if the Government wants to create something to be proud of, it will require consultation with workers in the transport sector.

“If they want to upgrade the transport system, the metaphorical potholes in the current working environment will need to be fixed first.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

"Systematic Murder": Complaint Filed To ICC Over Gaza Killings

Scoop's Alastair Thompson reports: At 10am on Thursday 17th May in a small office in the center of Lyon a detailed war crimes complaint on behalf of 562 victims and families of those seriously injured or killed in the Great Return March was submitted to the International Criminal Court by French lawyer Gilles Devers.

Over the past four years Kiwi journalist, investigator and human rights activist Julie Webb Pullman has trained and coordinated funding to assemble teams to collect evidence, interview witnesses and properly document thousands of individual war crimes committed in the period since Operation Protective Edge (2014). More>>

 
 

PM On Mycoplasma Bovis, Prisons: Working On It

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave an update on the response to the spread of Mycoplasma bovis in New Zealand cattle. More>>

ALSO:

Alarm Bells: Teacher Shortages Worst Since Surveys Began

PPTA: “There is a wave of teachers about to retire and I’m embarrassed to say that we have reached the point where we are begging them to stay on… Young graduates no longer want to enter the profession, the pay is far too low compared to what they earn in other careers and, of the new teachers who do enter the profession, nearly half burn out and leave within five years.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Budget 2018

To put it mildly, Budget 2018 has not been an outbreak of wild-eyed, tax and spend liberalism... More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Officers: 600 New Prison Beds Not Enough

Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced 600 new prison beds to be built in modular units by the end of next year, but would not say whether the extension of Waikeria Prison would go ahead. More>>

ALSO:

Peters Returns: Visit Reinforces New Zealand-Japan Relationship

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has departed Tokyo following a productive three-day visit to Japan. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Regressive Taxes

The headlines would have you believe that inflation is safely under control, but a Statistics NZ press release indicates that isn’t the reality being experienced by the poor, given how the steeply rising costs of smoking, petrol, rent etc are falling disproportionately on low to middle income earners. More>>

ALSO:

Overlapping Treaty Claims: ‘You Are Taking Us To War’

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little was speaking about the treaty process and the importance of communication when he was challenged by a kaumatua from Tauranga Moana. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages