London bus drivers will shortly see their minimum pay rates increase as a result of policies agreed between Unite and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.
Unite brokered a deal with Mr Khan last year which introduced the London Bus Driver Professional Pay scheme which sets the minimum rate that all new starters will receive. The initial rate was set at £23,000 on April 1, 2017 and it was agreed that it will increase by the Retail Price Index (RPI) each year.
The new rate backdated from April 2018 is £23,912. Experienced bus drivers will expect to earn more than the minimum pay rate.
The London Bus Drive Professional Pay scheme is one of a number of initiatives that Unite has agreed with the Mayor of London to improve working conditions for bus drivers.
“The increase in the minimum rate for London bus drivers, once again demonstrates that Unite is delivering for its members,” said Unite regional officer John Murphy.
“Unite is currently conducting an audit to ensure that all bus companies are abiding by the agreement and implementing the new rates.”
In January this year a ‘licence for London’ was introduced for bus drivers. This means that when any of London’s 25,000 bus drivers transfer between bus companies, in London, they will start at a pay grade equivalent to their previous rate of pay. Under the previous system they would have been placed on the lowest pay rate, even if they had many years’ driving experience.
In February 2018, again following extensive lobbying from Unite, Mr Khan announced an additional £6m of funding to ensure that all bus drivers will have access to toilet facilities on their routes.
Despite these initiatives there remains other key areas where Unite is seeking improvements in terms of welfare and conditions for London bus drivers. These include combatting the stress experienced by drivers, shortened rest breaks, enforced overtime and reducing distractions while driving.
Murphy added, “In recent months we have seen major improvements for drivers with the introduction and implementation of the new minimum rates, the licence for London and funding for new toilet facilities. These improvements have only been achieved due to Unite’s dedicated campaigning.
“If any London bus driver is not currently a member of Unite, they should join in order to help ensure that we can secure further improvements for all the capital’s drivers.”