NZ Bus Advised of further industrial action
December 8, 2019
NZ Bus was advised by FIRST Union and the Tramways Union that they proposed taking further strike action starting 4.30am on Saturday, 7 December, ending 4am on Tuesday, 24 December. The unions have advised NZ Bus that the drivers intended to not collect fares or work the electronic ticketing systems.
NZ Bus genuinely cannot afford to operate while no fares are collected. Unfortunately, this means that NZ Bus has suspended all services until this industrial action is resolved, which means that striking workers will be suspended for this period. NZ Bus is unable to pay driver wages for the sustained period of time indicated in the strike notices, while no fares are being collected.
NZ Bus CEO Barry Hinkley says this latest development is a result nobody wanted.
“NZ Bus is contractually obliged to collect fares on behalf of Auckland Transport. If our drivers do not collect fares, then we cannot afford to operate the buses. The consequence of this is that all NZ Bus services will not be operating until there is a resolution to the industrial action.
“We are working hard to try and resolve matters so that regular services can be resumed. We attempted to meet with the unions yesterday and we are going into mediation on Monday, 9 December. We are hoping that the situation is resolved quickly so that normal service can resume for our staff and for customers.
“Throughout the bargaining, we have made it very clear that our door remains open for the unions to come to the negotiating table with us to find a solution. We hope that our recent discussions will allow us to resolve the issues and resume normal services.”
The current claims made by the Unions include the following:
Weekday pay increases of over 40% (an $8 per hour increase)
Weekend pay increases of over 100%
All meal breaks to be paid
Increases in paid leave allowances of over 40%
Free travel on all public transport services
“The NZ Bus drivers are already the highest paid of any urban bus drivers in Auckland. We have a higher base rate and we also make sure that overtime is compensated for too. We value our team and we want them to be happy working for NZ Bus.
“We are in communication with Auckland Transport to ensure that passengers understand the situation and we apologise to those affected by the disruption. We would like to see this situation fixed as quickly as possible” said Mr Hinkley.
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