Unite balloted members over a new deal put forward by the operator, but Stagecoach confirmed on Friday afternoon that this offer had been rejected by union members, with Unite saying it ‘fell well below their expectations’.
The latest strike in Sheffield is now due to take place from Sunday, December 12 up to and including Saturday, December 18, as planned.
It follows another week-long strike held at the beginning of the month, though drivers have pledged not to walk out over Christmas as they don’t want to disrupt families’ plans during the festive period.
Phil Medlicott, managing director for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We can now confirm that the latest pay offer has been rejected and further strike action will take place starting this weekend.
“We have worked tirelessly to protect the jobs of our people during the pandemic, and we are also leaving no stone unturned in our current pay discussions with Unite. We believe our people should be properly rewarded and at the same time the long-term sustainability of the bus network for local communities should be protected.
“However, there needs to be flexibility on both sides. We have now made several different above-inflation offers, including multi-year proposals to give additional security to our people. It is frustrating that there has not been the same approach from union representatives.
“Strike action is unnecessary and benefits no-one. It damages the lives of local people who depend on buses to get to work and access public services. It impacts local businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic, especially at this critical time of year. And it ultimately puts employees’ own jobs at risk.”
Mr Medlicott added that the firm had already successfully agreed pay rises for thousands of other employees at depots across the country and remains opening to continuing discussions with the union.
Stagecoach have previously said they have offered the drivers a total offer of a nine per cent rise within six months, made up of an increase to the hourly pay rate of six per cent, with a further three per cent in the next six months.
A Unite spokesperson said: “Unite’s members have rejected Stagecoach’s latest offer which fell well below their expectations.
“As a consequence the strikes planned to begin this weekend will go ahead as planned.”
Most Stagecoach services in Sheffield will not run between December 12 and December 18, except for dedicated school buses.
The following services will run on a reduced timetable:
1 - High Green - Batemoor (Monday to Friday)
57 - Sheffield - Stocksbridge (Monday to Friday)
25 - Woodhouse - City Centre - Bradway (Monday to Saturday)
120 - Halfway - Crystal Peaks (Monday to Saturday).
The services below will not be affected as they are operated by other depots which are not taking part in the strike action:
All Supertram services
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.