First Manchester Bus drivers accept pay offer in Unite ballot- bringing to an end months of strike action

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The pay offer was taken to a ballot by Unite members, and drivers have voted in favour of accepting

Unite members at First Bus Manchester have accepted the travel operator’s latest pay offer. The offer was accepted through a ballot voted in by members yesterday (September 6). 

Accepting the offer means that drivers will have their pay increased to £15.50 an hour this month as well as a lump sum of £1100 and a further rise of £16 an hour from January. The offer also includes improved pay for those drivers working on Bank Holidays. 

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Rob Hughes, Operations Director of First Manchester, said: “We are delighted to have reached agreement with Unite and acceptance of a generous offer which makes our drivers some of the best-paid in Greater Manchester together with additional employment benefits. This ends any further damaging strike action and the severe disruption this has caused to the daily lives of our customers who rely on the bus to get to work, education and for appointments.

“It is disappointing that it has taken six months to get an agreement with Unite after we began talks in February and made a series of no-strings offers which met its requests on hourly pay and have all been well-ahead of inflation.

 “We have always approached pay talks with an open mind to try to resolve this dispute and move forward, allowing us to focus on the transition period to franchising and providing the people of Oldham with a great bus service. The whole team can now focus on continuing to deliver excellent service throughout the communities we serve.”

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Congratulations to our First Oldham and GMAT members who achieved substantial victories by standing together in their union and refusing to back down. These results are further proof that Unite’s total concentration on improving jobs, pay and conditions is winning for our members.”

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Unite regional officer Colin Hayden said: “These excellent pay deals came about through the hard work and determination of our reps and members at First and GMAT. I encourage anyone who wants better wages and working conditions to join Unite and get their colleagues to do the same.”

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