School bus pay victory

Hackney school bus staff dispute ends with pay and agency worker win

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A long running dispute between Hackney council and school bus staff has been brought to an end after workers secured increased pay and a commitment to make agency roles permanent.


The pay deal came after 38 Unite members, who are drivers and passenger escorts on school buses for children with disabilities, carried out a series of strikes in relation to the dispute during 2019.


Hackney council has agreed to yearly lump sum payments which will be backdated to April 2019 and are linked to annual National Joint Council pay increases for local government staff.


The agreement also includes a review, led by the conciliation service Acas, into improving working relationships within the bus service, as well as a commitment to review agency staff positions each term with a view to making those roles permanent.


Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said, “Our members deserve huge credit for the fight that they have put up and for the fact that they have achieved such an excellent campaign victory.


“The financial settlement is of course key for these low paid workers – but just as important is that Hackney council agreed in principle to fill jobs on a permanent basis rather than through insecure and vulnerable agency employment.


“This victory shows why it pays to be in a trade union, especially a union like Unite, which is prepared to actively fight back for its members.


“Unite looks forward to working productively with Hackney council in implementing these changes during the months ahead.”

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