Stagecoach plans to alleviate strike disruption
Stagecoach East Midlands has set plans in place to try and alleviate the impact of planned strike action from its staff. The industrial action is set to commence in Hull on 7 October.
Work has been done to ensure services can continue to run during the Hull Fair (7 to 15 October). The Hull Park and Ride service will continue to operate at the same frequency as previous years, providing regular services to the Fair.
However, the impending strike will cause disruption to daily services. Stagecoach said it is ensuring passenger services, while at a reduced level, will operate across key routes in the city.
The industrial action is expected to see more than 250 Hull Stagecoach bus drivers, cleaners, engineers and commercial assistants take all out strike action from 7 October until 29 December. Trade union Unite says there is ‘palpable anger’ at a below inflation pay offer, lack of pay parity compared to other areas and a 1% increase in wages since 2019. Unite reports Stagecoach is offering workers a one year 8.7% pay increase. It says that with RPI standing at 12.3%, this is a real terms pay cut.
Stagecoach said that following an alternative offer put forward on 23 September, a ballot due to take place between 24 September and 4 October was curtailed prematurely on 26 September. The operator reports that after a previous offer of an increased rate of 14.5% over two years was made and declined, an improved 12 month offer that would have delivered an increased rate of 12.2% by December 2022 was also declined.
“There is palpable anger among our membership at their unequal and stagnant wages when Stagecoach is awash with cash” – Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “There is palpable anger among our membership at their unequal and stagnant wages when Stagecoach is awash with cash. It can pay and it should pay. Unite fights for our members’ jobs, pay and conditions so we will be relentless in the campaign to ensure Stagecoach members in Hull get a fair deal.”
“Unite are clearly determined to cause disruption to our communities and passengers in Hull by pushing ahead with this unnecessary strike action” – Matt Cranwell, Managing Director of Stagecoach East Midlands
Matt Cranwell, Managing Director of Stagecoach East Midlands, said: “Unite are clearly determined to cause disruption to our communities and passengers in Hull by pushing ahead with this unnecessary strike action.
“We have left no stone unturned in trying to reach agreement, including making a further improved offer on 23 September, as well as inviting Unite to talks with the arbitration service provided by ACAS in order to try and find a way forward.
“Their determination to strike will heavily impact on the community of Hull and despite our best intentions to avoid a strike we need to be practical and set plans in place to ensure we do what we can for our passengers at a very difficult time.
Matt continued: “We would urge Unite to re-consider their position and to continue talking with us to find a way forward.”