Strike averted after Auckland bus drivers accept offer

Drivers for Howick and Eastern Buses have accepted an offer for terms of employment from the company. Photo / File
Drivers for Howick and Eastern Buses have accepted an offer for terms of employment from the company. Photo / File

An agreement has been reached between a group of Auckland bus drivers and their bosses.

Drivers for Howick and Eastern Buses have accepted an offer for terms of employment from the company.

The settlement was reached at the end of a six-month dispute with the company that included multiple strike actions and two cases being taken against the company in the Employment Relations Authority.

Howick and Eastern drivers threatened to strike on Tuesday after the company's alleged withdrawal from a last-minute offer.

In March, more than 100 Howick and Eastern bus drivers refused to handle cash for more than a week as part of a strike. They also did not sign on before their rostered shift starts.

Bus Drivers First organiser Rudd Hughes credits the assistance of the mediation service for the settlement.

"We managed to avert strike action and reach agreement thanks to a mediator thinking 'outside the box' to bring the company back to the table."

However, the union is not celebrating the settlement as a victory. Mr Hughes said although the settlement leaves union members with superior conditions to those who pulled out the union, he is still disappointed that the benefits of the settlement came at the cost of giving up penal rates for overtime.

- NZ Herald

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