Bus strikes in Warwickshire to go ahead next week after pay offer rejected - The Rugby Observer

Bus strikes in Warwickshire to go ahead next week after pay offer rejected

Rugby Editorial 1st Sep, 2023   0

A STRIKE by bus drivers in Warwickshire is set to go ahead next week after they rejected a new pay offer from operator Stagecoach.

Some 300 Stagecoach drivers, based at depots in Leamington, Stratford and Nuneaton, will begin a continuous strike action from Tuesday (September 5) in a dispute over pay.

Stagecoach said passengers should expect ‘severe disruption’ to services across Warwickshire in the week when schools reopen after the summer holidays.

The company’s offer of a 14.3 per cent pay raise under a two-year deal has been rejected following a ballot of members of Unite the Union.

Stagecoach will provide reduced services until the dispute is resolved.

Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director of Stagecoach Midlands said: “We are extremely disappointed that we have failed to reach agreement with our colleagues. We continue to be committed to finding an acceptable and affordable pay offer for our people. But it is important to us that any pay increase we provide is sustainable for our business and ensures the long-term viability of jobs, services and bus depots.

“We will welcome further discussion with Unite and encourage them to accept our invitation to involve ACAS to find an acceptable and affordable resolution as soon as possible.

“We know the key role we play in helping people get to work, education, hospitals as well as stay connected with friends and families. We will be providing as many services as we can and our teams are working hard to ensure that passengers see as little disruption as possible.”

Unite regional officer Sulinder Singh said the strike action would cause severe disruption to bus passengers throughout Warwickshire.

He added: “This dispute is directly a result of Stagecoach’s refusal to make an offer which meets our members’ expectations.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said the drivers played a vital role in keeping Warwickshire moving and they deserved a fair pay increase.

She added: “Stagecoach is an immensely wealthy company. It can fully afford to pay its workers a decent wage. Its failure to do so is because it is seeking to further boost its profits at the expense of its drivers.”

Stagecoach reported revenues of almost £1.2billion, with adjusted profits of £72.7 million, for the 2021-22 financial year.

The company is planning further discussions with Unite.

Visit https://tinyurl.com/34s9p8k7 for details of services which will be operating during the strike period, with updates on the Twitter account @StagecoachMids.


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