NZ Bus 'at a loss' over rejected offer
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 6:02a.m.
By 3 News online staff / RadioLIVE
The chief operating officer of NZ Bus says he is puzzled why the company's latest pay offer has been rejected by drivers.
Nine-hundred employees voted no at a secret ballot yesterday, kicking off what is likely to be weeks of strike action and frustration for Auckland commuters.
"At the meeting, there were very, very strong feelings that it wasn't good enough, that the standard of living for bus drivers is very tough," says Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly.
"They can't go on living week-to-week without earning a decent wage, and they wanted more."
First Union's Karl Andersen says the current wage for bus drivers is not enough - but is unsure exactly how much an increase drivers have in mind.
“The amount that they want is not quantifiable, they’ve simply
told the bargaining team that they needed more,” he told Firstline this morning.
Mr Andersen says the only option open to drivers in their pursuit
of a living wage is to continue strikes, but denies bus drivers are being unfair
“I would say NZ Bus are holding the city to ransom. The industrial
action is not designed to inconvenience the public… inevitably it will, but if you
look at the design of the industrial action it is designed for the least possible
impact,” says Mr Andersen.
But NZ Bus CEO Shane McMahon says a meeting with union officials gave him the impression the offer would be accepted.
"We actually went out to celebrate with the union leadership post that meeting," he says.
"The president of the Council of Trade Unions had done a great job, and also spoke at that meeting in support of our offer, so… I'm at a loss."
Drivers are now likely to strike every Monday for the next eight weeks. They took four hours off yesterday.
"They then agreed to endorse that offer, they thought that offer was a good one. I'm staggered that the members did not vote in favour of the offer, and I'm not sure where we go to from here."
Ms Kelly says the drivers want and need a pay rise immediately, as opposed to a $20 an hour rate introduced by late next year.
RadioLIVE / 3 News
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
18/09/2012 12:52:33 p.m.
They don't deserve to be paid that much. Screw the unions.
18/09/2012 8:31:09 a.m.
$20 for driving a bus? Let's see - they carry up to about 40 people on overcrowded roads in a death trap without seat belts. Trainee police officers with no responsibility earn more than that and they dont need a passenger service licence.
18/09/2012 7:39:04 a.m.
$20/hour for driving a bus? There are graduates who earn less than that...
Police had to physically push anti-poverty protestors back a...
A crew member of a cruise ship who was seriously injured abo...
Tonight comes the Budget announcement you didn't hear yester...
It's New Zealand Sign Language Week and it is hoped awarenes...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.