Stagecoach Yorkshire has urged the union Unite to come to joint talks with ACAS to agree a way forward on pay and bring an end to the current action which has been running since the end of November.
The firm says it made six different pay offers, all of which have been declined, including the latest offer that bosses say would see an immediate six per cent increase in the current pay.
Stagecoach says it has now approached ACAS, the dispute resolution service, for support in trying to find a solution.
Phil Medlicott, Managing Director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We recognise the impact that Unite’s actions are having on people locally, and we share people’s frustrations over the damage being caused to local communities and businesses.
“That’s why we remain 100 per cent committed to reaching an agreement with Unite. Our staff deserve a good pay rise and that is what we have offered. However there needs to be flexibility on both sides and we are hopeful that the talks with ACAS will help to find a way forward in settling this dispute.
“Our teams have done an amazing job during the pandemic, and we very much appreciate everything they have done. But at the same time, we have a commitment to continue to protect jobs and ensure that future bus services in Yorkshire remain sustainable for our customers to continue to use.
“We have now reached agreement with Unite at the vast majority of depots across England, Scotland and Wales, and there is no reason why we cannot reach a sensible and affordable agreement for South Yorkshire.”
Meanwhile, union officials have disputed earlier claims that staff had been offered a nine per cent rise.
Unite regional officer Phil Bown said: “Stagecoach's offer, which has been rejected by our members, does not equate to nine per cent for all staff and it is wrong to suggest that it does.
“The demands of the workforce are quite clear: They 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.”