Bus drivers will be continuing their strike in Auckland tomorrow and throughout the rest of the week following unsuccessful mediation this week.
Between 4am and 8am, union members will walk off the job to strike against unfair wages, according to the union.
First Union organiser Hayley Courtney said members sat down in “good faith” today, however, the offer that was put forth had no change from the one previously.
“Under the company’s plan, long-serving drivers would not earn the promised $30 per hour for a year or more due to the structure of their jobs, which include penal and overtime rates, while new migrant drivers would earn higher base rates and work no overtime,” Courtney said.
“There is no reason that NZ Bus, with the support of Auckland Transport, is not paying an effective rate of $30 per hour to the city’s bus drivers as has already happened in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin due to co-ordinated action at the political and council levels.”
NZ Bus CEO Calum Haslop said the strike was a “slap in the face” for Auckland commuters.
Haslop claimed the union members are being misinformed by their leaders and the statement released by the union is “factually incorrect”.
“The proposed offer represents a significant pay lift of 14.2 per cent from July last year and will see a guaranteed increase of 22.4 per cent from July 2022 to March 2024 which is significantly higher than inflation,” Haslop said.
“We fully support further increases to drivers’ wages, but successful negotiation requires good faith engagement, not bullying and misinformation, and unfortunately money doesn’t just grow on trees.
“This offer maintains NZ Bus Auckland Drivers as the highest paid anywhere in the country.”
Haslop also said his team is working to minimise the disruption caused by the short-notice strike.
Auckland Transport revealed this morning it was alerted on Friday evening about a potential bus strike this morning - but did not have enough details to update its systems until over the weekend, when those details were confirmed.
Speaking to TVNZ’s Breakfast show, Auckland Transport Metro Optimisation Manager Richard Harrison said they wanted to give commuters better certainty about the specific details of the strike and timing so they could find alternative travel.
Put to him that commuters may have liked to know of a potential disruption to their Monday morning travel plans on Friday, Harrison said: “Hopefully most Aucklanders had other things to think about over the weekend.
“So last night or early this morning is when they’re going to start thinking about getting to work.”
Harrison said they also expect a knock-on effect after bus services start running again - which could cause delays to many services.
“The message to commuters is please check the AT mobile app or Journey Planner to see what is running.”
Below are the bus routes which are expected to be impacted:
18, 14T, 14W, 20, 22N, 22R, 24B, 24R, 25B, 25L, 27H, 27W, 30, 64, 68, 75, 76, 82, 101, 105, 106, 125X, 128, 129, 162, 252, 253, 295, 321, 650, 670, 755, 781, 801, 802, 806, 807, 814, 842, 843, 871, 923, 774, 775, InnerLink, OuterLink, CityLink and TamakiLink.
Rachel Maher is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. She has worked for the Herald since 2022.