Stagecoach warns of 'major disruption' for Mansfield residents as bus strikes loom

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Stagecoach East Midlands has warned passengers of the disruption the RMT union’s imminent strike action will cause – with the bus operator unable to run any services in Mansfield and Worksop on the four days of action: July 26, August 2, August 9 and August 16.

The union is pushing ahead with planned strike action which the company says will cause major disruption to people in the East Midlands trying to get to work and access public services, despite almost 70 per cent of the workforce not voting for industrial action.

Employees at the company's Mansfield and Worksop depots, which employ a total of 320 drivers and engineers, have been offered a two-year deal which would give them a 13.2 per cent pay increase, with 9.7 per cent uplift in the first 12 months.

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Further talks have taken place with RMT to try to avert the strike action, with an enhanced offer made by the company that would see pay increases linked to the Consumer Price Index, guaranteeing a maximum increase of 15 per cent over two years if inflation remains higher, the company stated.

Stagecoach staff are planning strike action.Stagecoach staff are planning strike action.
Stagecoach staff are planning strike action.

However, Stagecoach claims the RMT is refusing to consider this or put any of these offers to a democratic employee ballot.

It says it has put four separate updated pay offers to the RMT, but the union has refused to allow its members to vote on any, instead is relying on the results of an outdated ballot to push ahead with strike action.

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

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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.

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

Matt Cranwell, Stagecoach East Midlands managing director, said: "We have done everything possible to try to avoid these needless strikes, which we know will cause untold disruption for our local communities.

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“We remain open for further talks. However, with the RMT unwilling to even ballot its members over the new offers we have made, it’s difficult to see a way forward.

“We are absolutely committed to securing the best deal possible for our people, while also protecting the future sustainability of the bus network.

“We are now in the difficult position of having to advise passengers we will not be able to run any services on July 26, August 2, 9 and 16 during the RMT action.

“We apologise for the inconvenience we know this action will cause to our passengers.”