‘Benchmark deal for all other bus companies to follow’

First Bus Glasgow drivers to receive pay rises of up to 21.5 per cent  

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Unite has welcomed news today (December 8) that more than 1,300 First Bus Glasgow drivers are set to receive an inflation busting pay rise over the next two years.

Unite drivers across Glasgow accepted the latest pay offer after months of negotiations, and previously rejected offers. The new pay deal over two years delivers pay rises of between 6 to 21.5 per cent over the next two years depending on length of service; and drivers currently in their second year of service on £10.70 per hour will now receive £11 from August 2021, (2.8 per cent) to £13 from October 2022, (18.2 per cent).

Rosters, unpaid break-times and a shorter working week, will all be improved, including a 12-hours maximum length of shift. There will also be a £300 ‘thank you’ payment as part of a UK-wide agreement.

Unite has also secured a commitment from First Bus Glasgow to recruit and train additional drivers alongside it now taking only two years to get to the top pay rate, as opposed to the previous five years, as part of a coordinated effort to attract people into the bus industry.

Unite has been highlighting the increasing number of bus drivers who are leaving the industry to find better paid jobs elsewhere which is having negative knock-on effects on the availability of bus services and routes. 

“The inflation busting pay deal for many of our drivers in First Glasgow is industry leading,” commented Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.

“Unite has been working hard over a number of months to secure the best possible result. We are determined to improve the job, pay and conditions of our members, and this pay deal should be a benchmark for all other bus companies to follow,” she added.

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer agreed, saying, “We are delighted to get this pay deal over the line with First Glasgow. It will ensure a substantial pay rise for many of our members over the next two years.

“We are particularly pleased that through our negotiations it will now take a driver two years to reach the top pay band instead of five. In addition, we have secured a commitment from First Glasgow to implement a shorter working week along with a recruitment and retention drive to ensure that we jointly address the driver shortages being experienced across Glasgow.”

By Andrew Brady

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