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First bus drivers to vote on pay offer
FIRST Bus drivers in Weymouth and Bridport will vote on a pay offer made following strike action.
It comes after 60 drivers, who are members of Unite union and employed by the First bus company, staged a series of walk-outs in a dispute over wages.
The dispute centres on drivers’ pay, currently £8.30 an hour, which the union says has dramatically fallen behind their regional counterparts.
They will now vote on the latest offer next Thursday.
Union regional officer Bob Lanning said: “We have been offered a pay increase which works out as a 2.5 per cent for 2013 and 3.5 per cent increase for 2014.
“Unite is recommending that drivers accept this. It is a ‘no strings attached’ offer and a decision will be made at the end of the ballot day.”
Most buses ran during the last strike with managers and supervisors from across the Dorset, Hampshire and Berkshire brought in to cover.
Drivers previously voted on a ‘substantially improved pay offer’, putting off a further strike, but that offer was been overwhelmingly rejected as there are ‘too many strings attached’ which would have meant a reduction to drivers' terms and conditions.
That has led to another strike ahead of the current offer, which Mr Lanning says has ‘no strings attached’.
Union, the country’s largest union which represents the drives, said the drivers’ regional colleagues, such as those drivers at Yellow Buses in Bournemouth, earn more than £10 an hour.
Mr Lanning, speaking to the Echo last month, 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.”
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