Unite Scotland confirmed today (October 8) that around 600 Stagecoach East workers across Fife, Perth and Strathtay have rejected the latest pay offer from the company.
In Fife, around 440 Stagecoach East workers rejected the latest pay offer from the company of 2.4% backdated to May 2021 by 90%. Across Perth and Strathtay, around 160 workers rejected the same offer by 91%.
Unite has acknowledged that while the latest offer represented a ‘step forward’ it maintains that there is ‘some distance to go’ to meeting the pay demands of its members. Unite has demanded Stagecoach meet its ‘fair’ pay claim of the Retail Price Index inflation figure (3.8% – July) plus 1%. The workers involved in the dispute are drivers, engineering staff, administrative workers, and cleaners.
This week the Stagecoach East workers also overwhelmingly backed taking strike action in the pay dispute, while voting on the latest offer from the company. Fife workers backed strike action by 93.4% in a 74.4% ballot turnout. In Perth, workers backed strike action by 91% in a ballot turnout of 78%. In Strathtay, Stagecoach East workers also backed strike action by 93.2% in a 67% ballot turnout.
Stagecoach’s latest accounts reveal that the Group made a profit of £58.4m, and it has over £875m of available liquidity.
Unite regional coordinator Dougie Maguire said, “The Stagecoach East workers across Fife, Perth and Strathtay have emphatically rejected the latest pay offer while also strongly backing strike action this week. Unite’s members democratically make up their own minds whether any offer from the company is good enough, and they have clearly told Stagecoach to go back and think again.”
“The company has tried and failed to suggest that our mandate for strike action was solely related to a previous pay offer. It was not as these rejections demonstrate,” he added. “We hope the public understand, despite confusing statements from the company, that Stagecoach East has been well behind the curve here, and they have some distance to go in order to meet the fair pay demands of our members. We are dealing with an extremely profitable company.”
“We want to emphasise that our ambition has been to resolve this dispute amicably, and without our members having to take strike action,” Macguire continued. “Yet, our members have had no option but to consider walking because the company hasn’t done enough talking. The company know what our members are asking for, and it’s now up to them.”
By Andrew Brady