Hamilton City Councillor supports GoBus drivers
Hamilton City Councillor supports GoBus drivers and opposes company lockout
Hamilton City Councillor Dave Macpherson, chair of the Council’s Growth & Infrastructure Committee, has publicly supported Hamilton bus drivers who have been locked out of their jobs by GoBus management, as a result of the drivers’ claims for fairer wages.
Cr Macpherson, the longest-serving Hamilton City Councillor, said “It’s quite shameful that city bus drivers are being paid such low wages - less than a liveable amount - when they are at the forefront of the resurgence in our public transport system.”
“$18 an hour is most definitely not a liveable, or fair, wage and I call on all parties involved in this dispute to start getting realistic about how they value their staff.”
Cr Macpherson said “it’s sadly ironic that GoBus management have escalated the issue by locking out their workers, when they are owned by the commercial arms of the Tainui and Ngai Tahu iwi and many of their underpaid staff are Tainui themselves.”
He said that, as the HCC representative on the Waikato Regional Transport Committee, he had suggested to the Waikato Region Council, who run the bus service contracts, that the City Council could drop its opposition to the Regional Council’s proposed 2.5% bus fare increase, if the additional income was used to improve bus drivers’ wages.
“Of course, we expect the Regional Council would also come to the party with a contribution, as should the GoBus company and its iwi owners,” Cr Macpherson added.
“We want a high quality bus service for our city, staffed by fairly paid and motivated staff who will help us promote what could be an excellent alternative to the growing congestion on our roads.”
“The lock out by GoBus will not help us achieve that; it should be ended forthwith, and sensible discussions started.”