Bus union confirm plans for strike action after turning down Stagecoach’s ‘paltry’ pay offers

A union official has announced that staff at a Mansfield bus depot will be striking on four days in upcoming weeks to secure a pay in line with inflation.

Thursday, 14th July 2022, 6:30 pm

Staff at Stagecoach East Midlands’ Mansfield depot, on Sutton Road, and in Worksop, have announced they will be taking strike action over pay on July 26 and August 2, 9 and 16.

Stagecoach says it has offered a two-year deal which would give staff a 13.2 per cent pay increase, with a 9.7 per cent uplift in the first 12 months and 3.5 per cent in the second year.

Gary Jackson, RMT regional organiser, said the ‘paltry pay offer’ is not what the members want.

Stagecoach East Midlands' Mansfield depot, on Sutton Road.

Mr Jackson is a lead officer for another Stagecoach-owned bus company in Chesterfield, where members have accepted a one-year pay deal of 9.6 per cent.

He said: “We have said to Stagecoach East Midlands Worksop and Mansfield that if they can match that deal, we’ll call the action off. Our issue isn’t with the first year, our issue is being tied to a second year deal that’s about 4 per cent.

“Bus drivers are not fantastically paid, they take home £1,400 a month – the money is terrible.

“We know inflation is on the rise, and our members don't want the second year as a 4 per cent deal. We want a one-year deal in line with inflation.”

In an earlier statement, Stagecoach alleged the union ‘refused to allow’ its members to vote on any of the three pay deals offered.

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However, Mr Jackson: “Our members did have a say. On the first pay offer, our members, through our branch structure, told us they want a one-year deal in line with inflation and that’s not what was on offer.

“The members want a negotiate position, we never want to take strike action.

"We’re not asking for the world. Our members are determined to get a good deal.

“The setup of having paltry pay offers from Stagecoach, which makes millions and millions of pounds every year – the members want a bit of that cake, and it's rightly deserved.”

“We’re happy to meet with the company and speak about it going forward, but they don’t seem to be listening to what we’re saying.”

Earlier Matt Cranwell, Stagecoach East Midlands managing director, said they ‘urge the union to return to talks so they can deliver a deal that is in the best interests of everyone’.

Mr Cranwell said: “The RMT’s planned strike action is a shameless attack on bus passengers, which will disrupt people trying to get to work and access vital public services, as well as damaging local businesses.

“The fact is, even in these difficult times, we have offered a substantial pay increase which would give our people a rise of close to 10 per cent within 12 months, with further rises the next year.

“They would also continue to benefit from good holiday entitlement, pension and other benefits.

“We have now made three separate offers to the union, none of which have been put to a democratic vote by RMT members.”