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Arriva bus drivers to walk out for 9 days in December after rejecting pay offer

9 more days of strikes by Arriva bus drivers and engineers in Cheshire will go ahead next month, after union members rejected the latest pay offer.

Several walkouts have already taken place by GMB and Unite members, as the unions fight for improved pay rises.

Arriva made what they say was their 'final' pay offer last week, of 1p more per hour than what they had previously put forward. 

Staff have today rejected the new deal in a ballot counted this morning.

Eddie Parker, GMB Organiser, said: “It comes as no surprise GMB and Unite members voted to reject this offer by an overwhelming majority.

“A pay increase of just one pence per hour is nothing more than a kick in the teeth to our hard-working members who keep the North West moving every day.

“Arriva pays directors millions, yet can’t afford to give staff the wages they need to pay the rent and put food on their families’ tables.

“Instead of sitting back, trousering their massive salaries, Arriva's top brass need to stop and think about the wellbeing of their staff, and how the people in the North West are going to get to work every day."

Arriva say they are disappointed with the latest rejection of the revised pay offer, and further disruption in the run up to Christmas.

The next strike is scheduled for Monday (27 November), with further strikes set to go ahead  on the 4th, 7th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd of December.

Phil Stone, MD for Arriva North West, said: "Arriva North West have proposed a fair and competitive pay rise to staff – 2.6% rising to 3% for the six garages in Merseyside and Runcorn.

"The offer follows years of consecutive pay rises above inflation at a time of significant pay restraint across other industries in the region. To put this into context, we have increased pay for our drivers by 10.2% over four years. This latest pay offer will mean an average driver will earn an additional £756 per annum.

We care about our staff and their working conditions, which is why we provide the best terms and conditions of any bus company in the North West region, including a final salary pension, 34 days holiday (Including Bank Holidays), company sick pay scheme, free bus travel for families, fully funded driver training, and enhanced rates for weekend working alongside other benefits.

An extended strike in the run up to Christmas will have a serious impact on people’s lives and the local economy. We believe that it is now time for proper mediated talks with the Unions to break the deadlock so our staff and passengers can get back to normal before Christmas.

We therefore urge the Union to reconsider resolving this dispute by carrying out a confidential postal ballot of all union members, including the 250 engineering staff not previously included in the ballot for the new pay offer. We also strongly suggest, in the interests of staff and passengers, of returning to ACAS to act as the mediator going forward.”

 

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