A STRIKE by bus drivers in Warwickshire has been suspended to allow workers to vote on a new pay deal.
The planned continuous strike, which would have caused ‘severe disruption’ for passengers, was set to start today (Tuesday September 5) – but was called off at the 11th hour following last minute talks between operator Stagecoach and the Unite union.
The company has made an ‘improved’ offer, after a pay rise of 7.8 per cent for the first year and 4.5 per cent plus £100 for the second was rejected by the union following a ballot.
Unite suspended the strike in order to ballot its members on the new offer on Thursday (September 7), with a recommendation of acceptance from the union.
If the deal is rejected, ‘indefinite’ strike action will begin next Tuesday (September 12).
Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director of Stagecoach Midlands said: “We are pleased that our talks with the union have gone well and that the industrial action that was going to take place has been suspended to allow members time to vote on an improved pay offer.
“We play an important part in our communities and customers can now expect their bus to run as normal. We hope that the revised offer is accepted, and any industrial action can be avoided.”
Around 350 Stagecoach drivers based at depots in Leamington, Stratford and Nuneaton were set to walk out from today (Tuesday September 5) – the day schools reopen after the summer holidays – in the dispute over pay.
Stagecoach runs the vast majority of the bus network in Warwickshire, with routes also extending into Coventry.