Local bus drivers delivered a petition asking for a living wage and better working conditions to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council on Saturday.
According to the bus drivers many were earning below the minimum wage and conditions were deteriorating.
Drivers met outside the regional council and called on it to support a living wage and an end to the tendering model that saw public bus services contracted out to private contractors.
This tendering model meant private providers won the contract for public bus services based on who could cut cost best, meaning - in practice - who could drive down wages and conditions.
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Bus drivers in Auckland saw their wages and conditions drop dramatically after New Zealand Bus lost the contract for Auckland's main routes to Go Bus, the iwi-owned bus company and now many in Hawke's Bay are seeing the same.
Drivers in Hawkes Bay and across the country are calling on councils to protect drivers' wages and conditions so drivers can focus on issues like customer satisfaction and environmentally friendly vehicles.