Stagecoach bus strike Sheffield: Union members claim 'huge' victory after new pay deal reached

The two-week long industrial action by Stagecoach bus drivers in Sheffield has ended on Friday (January 14) following an agreement over their pay deal.

Saturday, 15th January 2022, 1:23 pm

Stagecoach said the decision was made after members of the Unite union have voted overwhelmingly to accept the pay offers for 685 workers in Yorkshire, which cover Ecclesfield and Holbrook depots.

The proposals also cover employees who are based at Barnsley and Rawmarsh depots.

In Sheffield, 560 bus drivers had been holding an indefinite strike since the new year in protest of what they had branded a ‘poverty pay rise’ from the firm.

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The pay deal will see drivers pay increase by more than £1 an hour. From May, drivers in Sheffield will see their hourly rate rise from £10.50 to £11.60, while drivers’ pay in Barnsley and Rotherham will go from £10.80 to £11.91.

Their move to suspend their operations in wake of the strike had affected tens of thousands people.

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Stagecoach bus strike Sheffield: Walkout suspended from Thursday after new pay o...

Sheffield drivers to see hourly rate rise to £11.60

According to Unite, which led the negotiations, the new new pay deal means the bus drives will accept a ‘huge’ 10.7 per cent increase.

This also means the drivers will see an increase of more than £1 an hour. From May, drivers in Sheffield will see their hourly rate rise from £10.50 to £11.60, while drivers’ pay in Barnsley and Rotherham will go from £10.80 to £11.91.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a huge win for our members at Stagecoach in South Yorkshire and shows what can be achieved when workers stand together in a union.

“Unite now does exactly what it says on the trade union tin: fight to defend our members’ jobs, pay and conditions.

"The inflation busting pay rise at Stagecoach in South Yorkshire, as well as similar victories at other workplaces across the country, shows this approach is paying dividends for Unite members.”

Following acceptance of the deal, all strike action has been cancelled and bus services will continue to run as normal.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “This result shows what can be achieved through strong union organisation, which is why we urge workers looking to improve their pay and conditions to join Unite and to get their colleagues to do the same.”

Stagecoach: ‘These packages recognise their valuable contribution’

Meanwhile, Stagecoach said they were ‘pleased’ to have reached agreement with the union members.

Phil Medlicott, Managing Director for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: "We're very pleased to have reached agreement with Unite on new pay deals for our employees across all of our Yorkshire depots.

"We have been 100 per cent committed to delivering pay increases for our people, and these packages recognise the valuable contribution they make to our business and our local communities.

"We would like to thank our customers for their patience during recent disruption to their services. We are pleased that our teams can now focus fully on delivering the important public transport links local people need."

Bus drivers had 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 would 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.

A second pay offer offering a nine per cent rise within six months was also rejected.