Sheffield bus strike to continue into second week
The dispute between Stagecoach and its drivers over pay rages on – but what does that mean for bus routes this month?
Stagecoach buses will run as normal for this week, until Saturday, December 11.
However, next week will be disrupted.
Stagecoach’s bus drivers have announced another week of strike action from Sunday, December 12, until Saturday, December 18.
Supertram services will not be affected.
The following services in Sheffield will still run a normal service:
X17 - Barnsley - Meadowhall - Sheffield- Chesterfield - Matlock
43/44 - Sheffield - Woodseats - Chesterfield
50/50a - Sheffield - Mosborough - Eckington - Chesterfield
53 - Sheffield - Mosborough - Eckington - Mansfield
65 - Meadowhall - Sheffield - Buxton
80/80a Sheffield - Crystal Peaks - Killamarsh - Chesterfield
The planned strike action is currently set to end on December 18.
Members says strike action will continue into the new year as well if the issue is not resolved.
However, the affected bus drivers have pledged to work over Christmas to make sure their action does not spoil festivities for families in the city.
Next week will be the second week of strike action by the firm’s bus drivers through their union, Unite.
More than 560 bus workers are involved in the dispute, which also involves Barnsley and Rotherham.
The union says its members are taking action over low pay.
Members voted to strike after reportedly being offered a two per cent pay rise in November.
Unite labelled this a ‘poverty pay offer’, claiming it has helped drivers in parts of the country secure pay deals of between 6.5 per cent and 10.5 per cent.
The first walkout happened last week and ended on December 3.
The latest action comes after Stagecoach last week offered a raise worth a total of nine per cent on the current pay rate within six months.
However, talks broke down, with the union’s regional officer Phil Brown calling on the firm to ‘make a fair pay offer’, while Stagecoach’s managing director Phil Medicott called the offer ‘more than fair’.
Now, members will again refuse to work between Saturday, December 11 and the following Saturday, December 18.
The union claims the fresh week of strike action has been called as a result of Stagecoach making no attempt to resolve the dispute or even indicating that it was prepared to enter into further negotiations.
Mr Brown said: “The strike action is being taken as a last resort. A resolution is in Stagecoach’s hands – further industrial action can be avoided if Stagecoach makes a fair pay offer and returns to the negotiating table.”
Phil Medlicott, Managing Director for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We know that our employees deserve a good pay rise and have offered employees an increase to the hourly pay rate of six per cent with a further three per cent in the next six months – a total offer of nine per cent on the current pay rate within six months.”
For the latest information on the strike action, visit: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/.
The strike comes as bus operator First South Yorkshire says there will be more service cuts in January due to driver shortages - which saw 130 journeys axed on Friday alone.