Nottingham bus strikes threat
Nottingham bus strikes on cards after NCT drivers reject ‘subpar’ pay offer
Bus drivers at council-owned Nottingham City Transport (NCT) are being consulted over strike action after they rejected a ‘subpar’ pay offer, Unite, the UK’s leading, union said today (December 16).
Nearly 600 drivers, who are members of Unite, rejected a two year pay deal from NCT because it would still leave wages lower than at other nearby bus companies.
NCT offered the workers a pay deal that would see wages gradually rise by £1 an hour after two years. However, the offer did not meet their absolute minimum expectation of an immediate £1 pay rise.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Low pay is the scourge of the bus industry and is now being made even worse by rocketing inflation. Unite’s absolute focus on jobs, pay and conditions, means that if our members decide to move towards strike action following the rejection of this subpar pay offer, they will receive the unwavering support of the union.”
The drivers, who are paid as little £10.70 an hour, are also seeking faster wage progression towards the top rate of pay, which currently stands at £12.10.
Unite warned NCT that without an adequate pay rise and better wage progression, it risks losing drivers to other companies in the area, which pay top rates that are closer to £13 an hour and are available to new drivers much more quickly.
Unite regional coordinating officer Scott Lennon added, “Unite has agreed to further talks with NCT but given our members clearly expressed disappointment with the company’s previous offers, we are consulting on the possibility of strike action that could begin early next year.
“NCT needs to recognise that its current wage scale will result in drivers leaving the company for better paid positions elsewhere and put forward an offer that brings the company into line with the area’s other operators.”
By Ryan Fletcher