Stagecoach bus drivers in Sunderland to go on strike in row over pay rise

A Stagecoach bus
A Stagecoach bus
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Bus drivers on Wearside have announced that they are to trike on four successive Mondays in a row over pay.

Members of the GMB union who work for operator Stagecoach in Sunderland are set to stage four 24-hour walkouts starting next week.

Colin Newbury

Colin Newbury

It comes after the union rejected the company’s latest pay offer, saying it “does not reflect the aspirations” of the organisation’s membership.

Bosses say their members want to be paid the same as other workers in the North East although the decision to strike is not one that has been “taken lightly”, they are planning to go ahead.

The first planned walkout will take place on Monday and run for another three weeks until Monday, November 14.

GMB official Colin Smith said: “We have served notice on the company and there will be a series of 24-hour stoppages commencing on Monday, October 17.

“It’s simply because the company pay offer does not reflect the aspirations of the membership.

“The GMB members within Sunderland are seeking parity with their counterpart Stagecoach employees in other parts of the North East.

“Sadly, the company’s revised offer did not add any real increase relating to the offer that had previously been rejected.

“We understand that the users of Stagecoach services may have their working lives affected, but this is not a decision we took lightly.”

Stagecoach operates of number of routes in the Sunderland area and has a depot in Dundas Street, Monkwearmouth.

Colin Newbury, operations director for Stagecoach North East, said: ”We would like to reassure customers that we have worked hard to ensure that a full service will run as normal on Monday so that passengers will not be inconvenienced by the strike action that has been called by the union.

“We’ve offered a pay increase at a rate well above inflation for drivers in Sunderland, with no changes to terms and conditions. This offer remains open, along with the opportunity for further talks.”