Worksop bus strike action set to be suspended after new pay offer
Industrial action affecting bus services across Worksop is set to be suspended following a revised pay offer.
Drivers with Stagecoach East Midlands had planned a one-day walkout on Monday, October 18, in a long-running dispute over pay.
Members of transport union RMT at Worksop’s Stagecoach depot, in Hardy Street, had voted ‘not to undertake overtime and not to undertake rest-day working’ over two two-week periods, in September and October, before announcing the one-day strike.
Stagecoach had said it hoped for minimal impact on services, during the original industrial action, but the action, coupled with a national shortage of drivers, led to large numbers of services being cancelled daily.
However, Stagecoach said the strike has now been postponed following ‘positive discussions’ with the RMT trade union – although the RMT said no decision had formally been made, but the national executive was being recommended to end the action when it meets this afternoon.
It comes as a new pay proposal is to be put to union members – with union bosses recommending it is accepted.
Gary Jackson, RMT regional organiser, said: “We have had positive discussions with Stagecoach.
“It’s a fair deal, it’s above inflation. I wouldn’t say it’s a good deal, we still believe our drivers deserve more, but I think it’s a fair deal in the current climate.”
Matt Cranwell, Stagecoach East Midlands managing director, said: “We’re proud of our team, who do a fantastic job in delivering vital transport connections for people.
“We have had positive discussions with the RMT and are pleased to have reached an agreement with the union that provides a fair deal for our employees in Mansfield and Worksop and helps to secure the long-term sustainability of the local bus network for our local communities.
“We have been 100 per cent committed to reaching a sensible and sustainable agreement and have left no stone unturned to achieve that.
“We remain focused on delivering the best service possible to our customers at a time when there are challenges facing bus networks across the country as a result of the pandemic and other factors outside our control.”
Stagecoach said bus services are facing a ‘continuing challenging financial environment’, with passenger levels significantly down on pre-Covid levels, meaning fares are insufficient to cover the day-to-day costs of running services, without government support.