Hastings Stagecoach ‘hopeful’ pay offer will be accepted to avoid strike action by bus drivers

Stagecoach is hoping strike action can be avoidedStagecoach is hoping strike action can be avoided
Stagecoach is hoping strike action can be avoided
Bus drivers in Hastings could go on strike unless a pay offer by Stagecoach is agreed.

The firm said today (Tuesday, November 2) that it is ‘hopeful’ industrial action can be avoided.

The company added that the Hastings depot is voting on the current pay offer on Thursday (November 4).

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Unite the Union said drivers are on different rates of pay at each depot, ranging from £11.10 to £11.67 per hour.

The union added that depots have rejected offers ranging from 2.1 per cent to 4.3 per cent, with each depot being offered a different deal.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Low pay is the scourge of the bus industry right across this country. Stagecoach made profits touching £60m last year. Yet it cannot make a decent offer to its staff.

“Unite will be relentless in its campaign to ensure that our members at Stagecoach receive a fair pay increase.”

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Unite regional officer Dave Weeks said: “Bus workers were rightly hailed as heroes during successive lockdowns. However, warm words do not pay the bills and Stagecoach needs to reward its workers’ dedication with a decent pay award.”

A Stagecoach South East spokesman said: “Stagecoach has reached agreements with trade unions in the vast majority of other depots across the country and there is no reason why an agreement cannot be reached here in Kent and East Sussex.

“We are committed to working constructively with our local union representatives to deliver pay proposals that are fair to our people, who we think a great deal of and who do a fantastic job for us.

“However, we also need to ensure the long-term sustainability of the bus network for local communities at a time when passenger numbers are significantly below the level needed to cover the costs of running services.

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“Strike action is in nobody’s interests. We have further talks with Unite planned for Wednesday for Folkestone and Herne Bay, while Hastings depot are voting on the current pay offer on Thursday.

“We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached to avoid strike action that would cause disruption for our customers and our employees.”