South Yorkshire wide bus strikes suspended

Planned strikes by bus drivers across South Yorkshire have been suspended after transport bosses put forward a new pay offer.

By Sam Cooper
Monday, 22nd July 2019, 6:37 pm

Around 900 bus drivers were due to hold two days of strike action as the long-running dispute ovr First South Yorkshire’s pay offer continues.

Unite said its members, employed by First South Yorkshire Limited, have suspnded two 24-hour strikes which were due to be held on Saturday, July 27 and Saturday, August 3.

Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “We held further talks with the management today and an improved offer was made which we will now be balloting our members on. We are recommending that they accept this new package.

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The planned strikes have been called off.

“As a result, the two strikes on the successive Saturdays have been suspended and our members will be working normally.

“We won’t be revealing the terms of the offer until our members have had an opportunity to consider and vote on it.”

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A walkout planned for July 1 was cancelled a few days before it was due to take place, after Unite said it was in ‘meaningful discussions' with First.

The workers had voted by 69 per cent for strike action and by 79 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.

First South Yorkshire had proposed to freeze pay for all its staff, following what the company described as ‘another significant operating loss’.

But Unite argued that although First South Yorkshire was running at a loss, its parent company First Group could afford to fund a pay rise.

Garry Birmingham, managing director of First South Yorkshire, said: “We’re pleased to confirm that following further discussions with Unite members the proposed driver strikes have been cancelled. This is great news for our customers and staff and means that all bus services will operate as normal over the coming Saturdays.”