Arriva bus drivers to vote on revised pay offer

More than 600 Arriva bus drivers have been taking part in strike action.
More than 600 Arriva bus drivers have been taking part in strike action.

Arriva bus drivers are set to vote on a revised pay offer ahead of further strike action.

Management at Arriva Bus and representatives of the Unite trade union have agreed a revised pay deal that will now be put to the union’s 650 members in workplace ballots on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

The ballots will take place in Arriva’s four depots across the region, in Darlington, Durham, Redcar and Stockton.

The improved pay deal was reached following three days of intensive negotiation between the bus operator and Unite.

The drivers based at Darlington, Durham, Redcar, Stockton and Whitby, are seeking an increase £1 per hour on the rates for the year starting March 2018.

The bus drivers rejected the revised package before Christmas which included 75p on the hourly rate over two years in four instalments.

They have already undergone a week of strike action over the ongoing pay dispute and have planned a further 10 days.

The strike is due to go ahead from 12.01am on Sunday, January 27 and will last until 11.59pm on Tuesday, February 5.

However, if a new deal meets with driver approval, the 10 day bus strike will be called off.

The result of the ballot, for which a simple majority is required, is expected to be known on Thursday evening, January 24.

Unite union regional officer Ray Sanderson said: “I can confirm that our members are being balloted on a revised pay offer tomorrow and Thursday, following three days of talks with management.

"The ballot result will be announced on Friday morning, January 25.

“We won’t be revealing the details of the revised offer until our members have a chance to consider and vote on the deal.”

Arriva managing director for the region, Nigel Featham, says the company has done everything in its power to call a halt to further industrial action and to avoid disruption to passengers’ travel plans.

He said: "While we’ve moved heaven and earth to seek a resolution, we now need to await the outcome of the ballot."