Over 560 Stagecoach bus drivers have been holding an indefinite strike since the new year in protest of what they have branded a “poverty pay rise” from the firm.
Dozens of services across the region are not running, affecting tens of thousands of people.
Now, the strike will be put on hold from Thursday (January 13) while drivers vote on two new pay offers from the firm.
It comes after staff at the Rotherham and Barnsley also agreed to pause the strike from Wednesday while they voted on an offer.
It means from Thursday, all Stagecoach strike action in South Yorkshire will be on hold.
The new pay offer comes following talks this week between Unite and Stagecoach mediated by conciliation service ACAS.
Unite is yet to comment on the progress. The deals offered to South Yorkshire’s depots has not yet been undisclosed.
Meanwhile, Stagecoach claims the undisclosed pay offer has a “strong union recommendation to accept”.
Phil Medlicott, Managing Director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We’re pleased to have held constructive talks today with Unite, which has resulted in us reaching agreement on a way forward on future pay for our employees at Ecclesfield and Holbrook depots.
“We have been working tirelessly to agree a deal so that we can get services restored for customers. We hope that the efforts that have been made over the last couple of days by both sides will result in a full settlement.”
It comes after Mr Medlicott previously critcised the strike action as “unecessary” and that it “benefits no one".
Bus drivers have been at loggerheads with Stagecoach since October 2020 after a pay rise was rejected by union members.
The firm initially offered a two per cent increase. However, Unite labelled this a “poverty pay rise”, claiming its drivers had cumulatively been paid below inflation for over a decade.
Previously, Unite said members wanted to see an immediate pay increase that will see their wages rise to a minimum of £11.40 an hour, which would put them on a par with staff at other bus operators in the region.
The union called the indefinite strike in late December while criticising Stagecoach for “dragging its heels” in
A second pay offer offering a nine per cent rise within six months was also rejected.
Members walked out for two separate weeks in December, before beginning indefinite strike action on January 2.
Previously, Mr Medlicott has criticised the union. In a statement on December 19, the chief executive labeled the union’s rejection of the second pay offer as “counter to the spirit of achieving a jointly-brokered solution”.
ACAS is a non-departmental Government body set up to improve working relations between organisations. They are often brought in to mediate talks when firms are at loggerheads over strikes.
The new deals come after the Mayor of South Yorkshire Dan Jarvis lent his support to the strikers at a picket line in Barnsley on Monday.