News from NZ Bus
Metrolink, North Star, Go West, Waka Pacific and all LINK services will not operate between 9.30am and 2.30pm on Monday due to a union meeting. School bus services will not be affected.
Full services will resume from 2.30pm.
We apologise for the inconvenience.
Press Release from NZ Bus on October 12
NZ Bus met Tramways and First Union this week regarding the existing pay offer for bus drivers.
NZ Bus confirmed that the offer on the table is their final offer. This offer was made two weeks ago to avoid the threat of industrial action. The unions agreed to recommend the offer for the second time and half the unions’ members accepted, but a vote of 60% is required for ratification.
It appears that some drivers will simply not accept that a fair or final deal has been struck until they have gone on strike. This is frustrating for all concerned, not least the Auckland public who have come to expect industrial action every two or three years as par for the course.
Even involvement by the Council of Trade Unions who support NZ Bus’ offer has failed to convince the drivers that they should take the deal. “The union members elected 10 delegates to represent them through 6 months of negotiation. We gave them everything they asked for and they have been unable to convince their members – twice”, said Shane McMahon, NZ Bus’ Chief Operating Officer who describes the current situation as “incredibly frustrating”.
NZ Bus drivers will walk off the job next Monday between 9.30am and 2.30pm to vote on further strike action.
All Metrolink, North Star, GO WEST, Waka Pacific, and LINK buses will not operate between 9.30am and 2.30pm.
Dedicated school buses will not be affected and full services will resume from 2.30pm.
All other public transport services will operate as normal.
NZ Bus apologises to customers, but we have done all we are able to do to avoid strike action.
Press Release – NZ Bus – October 10
NZ Bus has been involved in negotiations with Tramways and First Union since May this year to agree a new Collective Agreement. At mediation today, the company confirmed its final offer. It has now reached agreement with the unions twice on what terms of the new collective should be. Both those agreements have been accepted by the unions and recommended by them to the members. The CTU have also been involved and Helen Kelly has recommended acceptance.
The latest recommendation for a settlement was accepted by about half the unions’ members in a ballot last week. Unfortunately, because the unions require a 60% vote the deal was not ratified.
The unions and the company returned to mediation today to discuss how to get past the problem that on two occasions now deals which have been struck at the table, and recommended and endorsed by the unions, have not been supported by enough of their members. There comes a point where we cannot continue to increase the offer because we become uncompetitive.
It appears that some drivers will simply not accept that a fair or final deal has been struck until they have tested the company by taking industrial action. This is frustrating for both the company and the unions .
At mediation today the company again re-affirmed that it has made its best offer. Unfortunately, it appears that industrial action may now follow.
NZ Bus appreciates the work that the unions, and the CTU have been doing. They have achieved a position for their members where they will be the highest paid in bus drivers in Auckland. The company has already said that if there is any other collective agreement offered by a major operator in Auckland, then the company would consider it instead. In fact, the company and the unions know that this is the best deal available for drivers.
“Unfortunately there is an element within the unions that sees strike action as a key element in any negotiation. They seem hell bent on following that formula again this time around, which is a real shame because it’s our customers that pay the price” says Shane McMahon, COO NZ Bus
“It is time for the members to support their unions and bring these negotiations to a conclusion without inconveniencing the public or the half of the union membership that voted to accept the deal” concluded Mr. McMahon.
Average Annual Income for bus drivers = $46,000
Average hours worked per driver = 43 per week
Drivers are paid overtime rates for hours worked above 40 hours per week
Almost all drivers employed in full time roles, and over half (525) work straight shifts Under the agreement reached between company and unions drivers pay rate would rise to $20 per hour plus allowances – making them the highest paid drivers in Auckland In addition to hourly rate, drivers also get allowances for broken shifts, meals and certain additional duties Total wage bill for drivers per annum = $46million