UPDATE: Bus drivers in Weymouth to strike today

Most buses will run despite strike action

Most buses will run despite strike action

First published in News
Last updated

MOST First buses around Weymouth and west Dorset will be running as normal today despite a drivers’ strike.

About 60 drivers who are members of the Unite union working for First Hampshire and Dorset at Weymouth and Bridport depots are striking for 24 hours from 4.30am on Monday, January 20.

First is confident it can run almost a full service despite the action.

Unite, the country’s largest union which represents the drivers, said the dispute centres on the pay of the drivers, currently on £8.30 an hour, compared with their regional colleagues, such as drivers at Yellow Buses in Bournemouth who earn more £10 an hour.

The management has offered a 1.5 per cent increase for April 2013-April 2014 – but the company wants to ‘claw back’ that rise by eroding terms and conditions, such as reduced sick pay, so the deal is self-financing, says the union.

It said the deal now on the table offered no back pay, and that management also wanted to start the pay year on July 1 which was ‘moving the goalposts’ by three months.

Unite regional officer Bob Lanning said: “Our members are some of the lowest paid bus drivers in the country.

“This is the first time that our members have gone on strike for 12 years at this company. They are being pushed against the wall financially by the cost of living crisis, which has seen household bills soar.

“The strike will cause disruption, which we regret, however, the ball is in the management’s court – and we are prepared to talk if there is genuine ‘new’ money on the table.”

Managing Director for First Hampshire and Dorset Marc Reddy said the 1.5 per cent which had been offered had already been accepted favourably by other employees in Dorset.

He said the company remained open to further discussions with drivers.

He added: “While it is disappointing and frustrating that some of our drivers have chosen to go on strike, we’ve worked behind the scenes and I am pleased we are able to operate practically a full service on Monday.”

First says services 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 47 and 387 will operate as normal.

Service 31 will run between Dorchester South and Axminster from 7am-7pm. Weymouth passengers should use Service 10, changing at Dorchester.

Only one service X53 will operate, leaving Lyme Regis at 6.40am and going to Weymouth College and King’s Statue.

All school and college buses are scheduled to operate including 753 Beaminster to Weymouth College and return.

First is making special fares available for Monday only with single tickets between Weymouth, Dorchester and Portland costing £1.50 and £3 for a day ticket.

Passengers are advised to check First’s website before travelling or see its Twitter or Facebook sites for any changes.

Comments (7)

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4:02pm Sat 18 Jan 14

smilealoft44 says...

£8.30 PER HOUR FOR DRIVING A BUS IS AN INSULT. Shift work to i expect, i dont blame them for taking action!
£8.30 PER HOUR FOR DRIVING A BUS IS AN INSULT. Shift work to i expect, i dont blame them for taking action! smilealoft44
  • Score: 9

8:02am Mon 20 Jan 14

arlbergbahn says...

"Managing Director for First Hampshire and Dorset Marc Reddy said the 1.5 per cent which had been offered had already been accepted favourably by other employees in Dorset."? What other employees in Dorset are there?
"Managing Director for First Hampshire and Dorset Marc Reddy said the 1.5 per cent which had been offered had already been accepted favourably by other employees in Dorset."? What other employees in Dorset are there? arlbergbahn
  • Score: 9

9:58am Mon 20 Jan 14

elloello1980 says...

£8.30 an hour?

If you pay peanuts, you get a monkey! and that is what First deserve, but not what the paying public deserve.

Good luck to the drivers
£8.30 an hour? If you pay peanuts, you get a monkey! and that is what First deserve, but not what the paying public deserve. Good luck to the drivers elloello1980
  • Score: 13

2:27pm Mon 20 Jan 14

JamesYoung says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
"Managing Director for First Hampshire and Dorset Marc Reddy said the 1.5 per cent which had been offered had already been accepted favourably by other employees in Dorset."? What other employees in Dorset are there?
1.5% is terrible, when even the official rate of inflation has been over 2% this year (and the real rate probably more like 7.5%).
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: "Managing Director for First Hampshire and Dorset Marc Reddy said the 1.5 per cent which had been offered had already been accepted favourably by other employees in Dorset."? What other employees in Dorset are there?[/p][/quote]1.5% is terrible, when even the official rate of inflation has been over 2% this year (and the real rate probably more like 7.5%). JamesYoung
  • Score: 4

5:34pm Mon 20 Jan 14

weymouthghostwalks says...

Isn't it always the same when a person's job involves human safety or care, the pay is always low in proportion to the responsibility. Bus drivers are responsible for the lives of their passengers and for other road users too. The First drivers in Yeovil get paid far more than those in Weymouth and to add insult to injury, when Yeovil drivers are seconded down to Weymouth to cover shortages of drivers they get paid EXACTLY the same money as they normally do in Yeovil. Not very fair is it?
Isn't it always the same when a person's job involves human safety or care, the pay is always low in proportion to the responsibility. Bus drivers are responsible for the lives of their passengers and for other road users too. The First drivers in Yeovil get paid far more than those in Weymouth and to add insult to injury, when Yeovil drivers are seconded down to Weymouth to cover shortages of drivers they get paid EXACTLY the same money as they normally do in Yeovil. Not very fair is it? weymouthghostwalks
  • Score: 7

3:39am Tue 21 Jan 14

Under35andout says...

8.30 a hour for sitting in a chair all day listening to a radio with packages that walk themselves off and on , how much does intercity link drivers earn what about the van drivers doing manual work as well as the job . monkeys can do bus work so they should be paid peanuts . 8.30 isnt peanuts 18k a year plus overtime 40 hour week , not bad i was getting paid 6.30 a hour driving long distances 11 hours a day all over the country and no without a job an been looking for 2 years lucky to even have a easy driving job in weymouth ,. if they want bournmouth rates MOVE TO BOURNEMOUTH ONLY people writing how the deserve more money is a JOKE they must be the disgrunted drivers , even LGV drivers dont often get paid more than £9 hour for day work bunch of old lazy **** that need to be fired
8.30 a hour for sitting in a chair all day listening to a radio with packages that walk themselves off and on , how much does intercity link drivers earn what about the van drivers doing manual work as well as the job . monkeys can do bus work so they should be paid peanuts . 8.30 isnt peanuts 18k a year plus overtime 40 hour week , not bad i was getting paid 6.30 a hour driving long distances 11 hours a day all over the country and no without a job an been looking for 2 years lucky to even have a easy driving job in weymouth ,. if they want bournmouth rates MOVE TO BOURNEMOUTH ONLY people writing how the deserve more money is a JOKE they must be the disgrunted drivers , even LGV drivers dont often get paid more than £9 hour for day work bunch of old lazy **** that need to be fired Under35andout
  • Score: -5

3:47am Tue 21 Jan 14

Under35andout says...

“This is the first time that our members have gone on strike for 12 years at this company. They are being pushed against the wall financially by the cost of living crisis, which has seen household bills soar.

what living crisis they are on 8.30 a hour you saying 8.30 a hour should be nmw why and what report you get that from what a bunch of crap theres people living on 6 a hour with less hours and more outgoings

face it your a bus driver you wont retire rich and famous you are a monkey and should be paid monkey nuts
“This is the first time that our members have gone on strike for 12 years at this company. They are being pushed against the wall financially by the cost of living crisis, which has seen household bills soar. what living crisis they are on 8.30 a hour you saying 8.30 a hour should be nmw why and what report you get that from what a bunch of crap theres people living on 6 a hour with less hours and more outgoings face it your a bus driver you wont retire rich and famous you are a monkey and should be paid monkey nuts Under35andout
  • Score: -3

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