No new offers in bus driver dispute
Wed, 10 Oct 2012 8:30p.m.
By Alastair Bull
Negotiations to resolve contract talks for Auckland's biggest bus company are at an impasse and industrial action remains a possibility.
Drivers employed by NZ Bus who belong to the Tramways Union and First Union rejected a company offer which their unions recommended they accept, and today the company said it wouldn't be offering anything more.
Requiring 60 percent support of its members to be ratified, the contract offer was supported by 49 percent and rejected by 51 percent.
Union negotiator Karl Andersen says the drivers will hold a stopwork meeting next Monday to decide their next course of action.
"If there's no change in their offer then it's pointless in having a ballot on their offer," he told NZ Newswire.
"The meeting on Monday will have to decide what the drivers want to do about it."
The drivers had given notice of striking one day a week for nine weeks prior to the last two votes on contract offers the union had supported.
NZ Bus chief operations officer Shane McMahon said the company appreciated the work of the unions and called on drivers to reconsider their rejection.
"Unfortunately there is an element within the unions that sees strike action as a key element in any negotiation."
Mr McMahon said the deal would make the drivers the best-paid bus drivers in Auckland, an assertion contested by Mr Andersen.
He said there were different pluses and minuses with all the bus driver contracts in the city, "but one thing factually incorrect is to say that this will make them the highest-paid drivers".
NZ Bus runs more than half the bus services in Auckland.
The company says its average income for drivers is $46,000, and the drivers worked 43 hours a week on average. It says its wage bill per year is $46 million.
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15/10/2012 9:34:25 p.m.
They did not mention broken shifts that drivers have to do i.e. start 5 am finish 11 am then again start 4 pm and finish 7 pm. that is how they give work to driver, end of the day you stay there for 13 hours and getting paid for 8 hours, that is the truth.
12/10/2012 3:50:02 p.m.
I think this is pathetic! They are all up in arms about getting more then $20 an hour when there are many of us living off minimum wage. Hell if I was earning $46,000 I would be happy. Not to mention their customer service is horrible most the time, making any bus trip an unpleasant one. We demand better customer service and treatment!
11/10/2012 11:47:09 a.m.
"average income for drivers is $46,000 for 43 hrs a week" - how is that not good enough for someone who, to be blunt, isn't required to have many skills apart from driving and customer service.
11/10/2012 1:08:18 a.m.
That is not a bad income at all. More than I earn and I work more hours than that. More that some skilled peopled earn.
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