Sheffield bus strike: South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis backs Stagecoach drivers in picket line visit
MP and Mayor of South Yorkshire Dan Jarvis joined striking bus drivers today to back them in their fight over pay.
Mr Jarvis spoke to drivers from the Unite union as dozens lined the street this morning to meet him and talk to him about their action which is being taken by Stagecoach drivers and engineers.
He said he had a very good conversation with drivers, outside the Stagecoach depot on Wakefield Road, Barnsley.
He said: “Throughout the pandemic, bus drivers have been integral in keeping our communities moving and getting other key workers to the frontline. Now they deserve a decent pay rise.
“From my conversations with drivers, they are desperate to get back behind the wheel – I’m calling on Stagecoach to get around the table and engage in meaningful discussions with the union so this situation can be resolved.”
He said the drivers worked very hard keeping South Yorkshire’s communities going, and did a fantastic job.
He added: "I really value and appreciate the service that they offer. That’s why today, we need Stagecoach round the table to make a meaningful offer. I know that will be very well received and hopefully we can bring this matter to an end as speedily as possible.”
Stagecoach and Unite were due to meet in talks with the conciliation service ACAS on Monday, to try to find a way forward to resolve the dispute. Both parties had described themselves as hoping it would lead to a solution.
Unite says members want 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.
Stagecoach Yorkshire bosses say their staff deserve a good pay rise and say that is what the firm has offered, but add that they have a commitment to continue to protect jobs and ensure that future bus services in Yorkshire remain sustainable.
The strike started at the end of November with a week of strike action. In the new year it has escalated to an indefinite strike.
Unite said on Monday afternoon that following talks, strike action in Barnsley and Rotherham would be suspended from Wednesday, with action at Sheffield depots due to continue pending further talks on Tuesday.