National Express buses return to normal service as drivers vote to accept 16.2pc pay rise - The Solihull Observer

National Express buses return to normal service as drivers vote to accept 16.2pc pay rise

Solihull Editorial 27th Mar, 2023   0

BUSES were back to normal today after drivers voted in favour of a 16.2 per cent pay rise over the weekend, bringing an end to the strikes.

The result concludes the pay dispute between National Express West Midlands and Unite, which saw drivers walk out from March 20 to 26.

Services across the region were said to be as close to normal as possible today (March 27).

The industrial action saw more than 3,100 National Express drivers down tools in a dispute over pay.

They rejected an offer of a 14.3 per cent rise earlier in the week.

In addition to the pay rise the offer also included improvements to the drivers’ accident pay and hourly rates for working over the Christmas holidays.

National Express has also guaranteed to implement new terms and conditions that were agreed with Unite in November last year, a key sticking point in the dispute.

A National Express West Midlands spokesperson said: “We are pleased that the drivers have voted in favour of accepting the offer.

“We apologise to our customers and the communities we serve for the significant disruption and inconvenience this has caused over the last few weeks.

“We are pleased to be able to put this behind us and focus on delivering a bus service that customers can rely on.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an important win for Unite members.

“By standing together our members at National Express secured an above inflation pay offer.

“Unite will leave no stone unturned to defend workers’ pay.

“This is yet another example of how Unite’s relentless focus on improving jobs, pay and conditions results in real ‘money in the pockets’ of our members.”

More than 200 National Express engineers voted last week to accept a separate pay deal. Unite also ensured around 250 admin staff would benefit from this deal.

Unite lead national officer Onay Kasab said: “We congratulate every one of our members for making this stand and winning.

“Unite will continue to work, through our Bus Combine, to win double digit pay increases for our members.”

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