Chesterfield bus strike called off as drivers accept Stagecoach pay offer

Union bosses have claimed a ‘tremendous victory’ after bus drivers accepted an improved pay offer in their dispute with Stagecoach.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 2:33 pm

Unite says the threat of strike action has now ended after members accepted ‘a vastly improved pay offer’.

The 50 drivers and cleaners, who are based at the company’s Stonegravels depot, have accepted a one-year pay rise which will see wages increase by 4.5 per cent.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a tremendous victory by members of Unite.

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A Chesterfield bus strike has been called off after Unite claimed a ‘tremendous victory’ in its dispute with Stagecoach.

"By standing together they have ensured Stagecoach made them a new pay increase which was much improved on the initial offer.”

Strike dates for the Stonegravels depot had been announced as early as this week, but were put on hold when Stagecoach tabled a fresh pay offer to allow members to be balloted.

Unite regional secretary Paresh Patel said: “As a result of this dispute Stagecoach’s management can be under no illusion that Unite is determined to eradicate low pay for bus workers once and for all.

“It was clear all along that Stagecoach could well afford this pay rise, but was trying to use Covid as an excuse to offer less. Unite will not let our members pay the price for the pandemic.”

Phil Medlicott, managing director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, welcomed the deal last week – saying it offered ‘a fair deal for our employees in Chesterfield and helps to secure the long-term sustainability of the local bus network’.

He added: “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 the Chesterfield area have been cancelled ‘for the foreseeable future’ because of staff shortages.

Services connecting Chesterfield with Brimington, Holme Hall, Clay Cross and other local destinations have been scrapped ‘for the foreseeable future’.

One Chesterfield driver, who asked not be named, told us a job he used to enjoy has become ‘horrendous’ because drivers faced criticism and abuse from the public for the cancellations.