Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tramways workers win 11.5% pay increase at NZ Bus, but vow to fight on at Mana

Tramways Union accepts 11.5% pay increase from NZ Bus, Mana Coach Services Face further industrial action.


The Wellington Branch of the Tramways union voted to accept the NZ Bus Pay offer of 11.5% at a stopwork meeting of bus drivers yesterday. Mana Coach Services still haven't improved their offer to drivers and face industrial action by the Tramways Union unless this changes.

At a stop work meeting of Go Wellington and Valley Flyer drivers on Thursday, drivers voted to accept the pay offer from NZ Bus. For Go Wellington this was an increase of 11.5% on all printed rates, and at Valley Flyer an increase of 11% and gaining a number of conditions from the Go Wellington Collective Agreement such as time and a half for weekend work.


In 2008 Go Wellington had a day long lockout during contract negotiations and in 2009 Auckland Tramways members were locked out for a week by NZ Bus.


“We have seen a significant improvement in the way NZ Bus management negotiated with our union during these negotiations” says Wellington Tramways secretary Kevin O'Sullivan. “Unfortunately we have not seen any improvement in the attitude at Mana Coach Services who continue to have an arrogant and bullying attitude towards union members”.


At Mana Coach Services however the company offer has not improved. The major contentious issue is Mana's attempt to remove the 8 hour day from the collective and force drivers to work up to 14 hours. Mana also refuse to pay penal rates for weekend work, unlike the other major players in the Wellington Bus market Go Wellington and Valley Flyer.


There have also been a number of complaints from Tramways members at Mana of bullying and being pressured to quit the union.

There is likely to be increased strike action and disruption at Mana Coach Services this coming week, unless the company improve its offer and attitude towards its drivers.

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