Drivers reject NZ Bus pay offer
Thu, 05 Jul 2012 3:31p.m.
Bus drivers on Auckland's biggest network have rejected a new collective contract offer, but the employer says negotiations have been constructive.
Buses run by NZ Bus stopped running for five and a half hours on Thursday as Auckland Tramways Union and First Union members met to discuss whether to agree to the company's collective contract offer.
More than 96 percent of members rejected the offer, the unions say.
"There was an overwhelming feeling from the meeting that the offer from NZ Bus was not sufficient," First Union transport and logistics secretary Karl Andersen said.
Mr Andersen said the unions were committed to reaching a settlement and would return for further negotiations on Thursday and Friday of next week.
NZ Bus chief operating officer Shane McMahon says the offer would have made its drivers amongst the top earners in their positions in Auckland.
"While NZ Bus is obviously disappointed that the proposed new Collective Agreement has not been ratified, we are committed to working with the unions to agree a way forward," Mr McMahon said.
"NZ Bus will seek to re-engage with the union negotiating team as quickly as possible in order to reach an agreement that satisfies the needs of both parties, avoids any disruption to commuters and encourages the unions to do the same."
NZ Bus, a subsidiary of Infratil, runs about 70 percent of Auckland's buses, including the North Star, Go West, Metrolink, City Link, Outer Link and Waka Pacific buses.
The negotiations come three years after NZ Bus services were seriously interrupted during a dispute between the company and its drivers.
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