Bus suspensions: drivers reject the same NZ Bus offer again, disruption may continue
Over 800 FIRST Union and NZ Tramways Union members who drive buses for Auckland’s largest public transport operator, NZ Bus, met today and rejected the employer’s standing offer of a 2% pay rise, meaning driver suspensions are likely to continue and the bus operator will continue to cancel services, FIRST Union said today.
"Drivers met today to discuss the company’s offer of a 2% pay rise, which has not improved since members began the partial strike action of refusing to collect fares and were suspended en masse by the company in a heavy-handed move that has left both the public and the drivers at a loss," said Jared Abbott, FIRST Union Secretary for Transport, Logistics, Operations and Manufacturing.
"Unsurprisingly, members voted not to accept the standing offer given their concerns have not been listened to, and it means we have not yet progressed beyond the issues that bus drivers decided to take industrial action over in the first place."
"The drivers know that if they accept the most convenient offer for the company, nothing will change and an untenable status quo will continue."
"We are looking for a way forward that minimises disruption to passengers and gets the drivers back on the road, and it’s frustrating that the Council and the company don’t seem to be acting with the urgency the situation demands."
"Meetings will continue between drivers and NZ Bus this week with the aim of addressing both the immediate issue of the bus drivers’ suspensions and fixing the broken contracting model - PTOM - that underlies the origin of this dispute."
"We offer our sincerest apologies to anyone inconvenienced by the suspensions and suggest they get in contact with Auckland Transport to express their concerns and get up-to-date information on any service disruptions."
"Drivers would also like to thank
the many passengers and members of the general public who
have been in touch directly or online to express their
sympathy and solidarity with the drivers and the fact that
they are without pay or security as Christmas