Chesterfield bus strikes 'will go ahead' if new Stagecoach pay offer rejected

Union bosses say strike action by Chesterfield bus drivers could still take place if an improved pay offer is rejected in a ballot.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 3:26 pm

Industrial action by Stagecoach staff, which was due to begin on Monday, October 18, was called off earlier this week after ‘constructive’ talks between the company and trade union Unite.

However, if new pay proposals put forward by Stagecoach are not accepted by staff in a ballot next week, a strike could still be called by Unite as early as October 25.

The union’s regional coordinating officer Scott Lennon said: “This offer is a welcome step in the right direction. Unite’s members will now decide if it meets their aspirations.”

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Union bosses say strike action by Chesterfield bus drivers could still take place if an improved pay offer is rejected in a ballot.

Unite said passengers would face ‘severe disruption’ if the action by staff at Stonegravels depot in Chesterfield went ahead.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members have shown that by standing together in unity management has been obliged to make an improved pay offer.

"Stagecoach must understand that we remain utterly determined to secure proper and lasting improvements to the pay and conditions of our members."

Earlier this week, Stagecoach welcomed the cancellation of the initial week of strike action.

Phil Medlicott, managing director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We’re very proud of our team, who do a fantastic job in delivering vital transport connections for local people.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the RMT and Unite unions that provides a fair deal for our employees in Chesterfield and helps to secure the long-term sustainability of the local bus network.

“We remain focused on delivering the best service possible to our customers at a time when there are challenges facing bus networks across the country as a result of the pandemic and other factors outside our control.”

Dozens of Stagecoach bus services in Chesterfield are currently cancelled ‘for the foreseeable future’ because of staff shortages.

Stagecoach says Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic are having a severe impact on bus operators across the UK.

A spokesperson said bus services are facing a continuing challenging financial environment with passenger levels significantly down on pre-Covid levels.

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