Unite wants bus operators to start city-wide pay agreement

London busUp to 27,000 London bus workers will go on strike on Tuesday in a dispute over pay.

The capital’s 18 bus operators preside over more than 80 different pay rates covering London’s bus drivers, doing the same job, even driving the same route but for different rates of pay.

In contrast to Tube drivers, there isn’t one collective pay deal for bus drivers in the capital, whose pay is negotiated on a company by company basis leading to pay inequality and disparities.

Unite is looking to harmonise the rates in a single London-wide agreement covering bus workers’ pay, terms and conditions.

A refusal by the bus operators to address the issue has led to pay gaps of over £3 an hour for new starters opening up, with pay varying from £9.30 to £12.34 an hour depending on the company.

Unite regional officer Wayne King said: “Passengers pay one fare to travel on London’s iconic red buses, yet there are over 80 different pay rates covering bus workers, many doing the same job or driving the same route but for different rates of pay.

“Strike action is not a step our members take lightly, but bus workers who keep London moving 24 hours a day, seven days a week, have had enough of pay inequality and unfair pay disparities.

“The blame for the disruption that strike action will cause sits squarely with London’s bus companies. They have repeatedly ignored our offers for collective talks and need to get their heads out of the sand and start negotiating meaningfully about ending pay inequality on London’s buses.”

Unite represents over 27,000 bus workers working for 18 bus companies who serve Greater London. These are: Arriva North, Arriva South, Selkent, London General, Metroline, Metroline West, Metrobus, CT Plus, London United, Abellio South, Abellio West, London Sovereign, Stagecoach, Blue Triangle, Northumberland Park, Tower Transit, Docklands and London Central.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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