Two-day bus strike called off after crunch talks between First bosses and union

By Michael Upton | 26/06/2019

Two-day bus strike called off after crunch talks between First bosses and union

BUS drivers called off two days of strikes which would have hampered veterans heading to Armed Forces Day celebrations in Rotherham.

Unite members working for First South Yorkshire were due to walk out on Saturday and next Monday in a dispute over a proposed pay freeze.

But both the first 24-hour walkout — on the day veterans and families have been offered free public transport to Armed Forces Day events in Rotherham — and the second are off, it was announced this morning.

Garry Birmingham, managing director of First South Yorkshire, said after fresh pay talks today: “We’re pleased to confirm that following a meeting with Unite the union earlier, the proposed driver strike on July 1 has been cancelled.
“Whilst our position to offer a new pay deal remains unchanged for this financial year, we are now in meaningful discussions about possible longer-term options.”

Two-thirds of Unite members balloted had voted to strike over an “insulting” one-year pay freeze.

But regional officer Phil Bown said today: "We had constructive and meaningful talks with the management of First South Yorkshire Limited today.

“We will meet again on Monday when we will consider a number of options on pay. 

“As a result, we have suspended the strike scheduled for July 1 [tomorrow’s planned strike was scrapped on Monday “as a mark of respect”] and our members will be working normally.

“While talks are progressing, we won’t be commenting further.”

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