Hackney council is being blamed for six days of planned strikes by drivers and passenger escorts on school buses for disabled children in a new dispute over payments for working split shifts.
Unite said its 38 members, who drive and assist the children to and from school on a daily basis, will stage six 24 hour strikes on June 18, 20, 25 and 27 as well as July 4 and 9 , all starting at just past midnight. The staff voted unanimously for the new strike days.
The dispute centres on a £50 a week claim for compensation for the split shifts, backdated to July last year when the issue was first raised. Unite said this claim is based on the next grade in the Green Book national agreement which the union believes is the correct one for this group of workers.
“This new dispute is a result of council bosses adamantly refusing to negotiate for nearly a year,” said Unite regional officer Onay Kasab.
“But ‘enough is enough’, as our members live in one of the world’s most expensive cities. If these strikes go ahead because of the authority’s continued intransigence, the blame will be at its door.
“The last thing our members want is to cause the children any distress.
“The impact of the strikes will be significant as Unite represents the majority of drivers and passenger escorts – and the council cannot run the service without our members.
“That said, Unite’s door for talks is open for realistic and constructive negotiations, so we can avert this industrial action.”
The workers staged two days of strike action recently in a similar dispute, which was not resolve