Is my bus running this week?
Stagecoach’s bus drivers have announced they intend to begin indefinite strike action in South Yorkshire beginning on New Year’s Day.
But for now, buses are expected to run as scheduled for the next week and following the festive period.
It comes as bus drivers have just ended a second week of strike action that ran between December 12 and December 18.
However, the affected bus drivers previously pledged to work over Christmas to make sure their action does not spoil festivities for families in the city.
Will Stagecoach bus drivers be on strike in the new year?
Bus drivers working with the Unite workers’ union have announced they will begin an indefinite strike beginning on January 1 in Rotherham, Barnsley and Chesterfield before extending it to Sheffield on January 2.
Unite says its members have been cumulatively paid below inflation for over a decade and voted to reject a new pay deal put forward by Stagecoach last Friday.
Members walked out in the week leading up to December 3 after reportedly being offered a two per cent pay rise in November, which Unite labelled a ‘poverty pay rise’.
The new deal offered a nine per cent rise within six months, made up of an increase to the hourly pay rate of six per cent, with a further three per cent in the next six months.
Unite said the offer ‘fell well below their expectations’, and announced the indefinite strike action in a statement which read: “Stagecoach Yorkshire management have had plenty of time to resolve the ongoing dispute, but they're dragging their heels.”
Stagecoach’s managing director Phil Medlicott branded the strike action as “unnecessary” and that it “benefits no one”.
“It damages the lives of local people who depend on buses to get to work and access public services,” said the executive.
“It impacts local businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic, especially at this critical time of year.
“We want to work together with the union to reach a solution. But any aspirations need to reflect the fact that passenger numbers on the country's bus networks remain significantly below pre-Covid levels.”