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.

By Jon Ball
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:34 pm

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.

Worksop Bus Station are to suspect strike action on Monday, October 18.

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.

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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.

RMT has been contacted for further comment about the deal.