Great news

Strike averted as NZ Bus and Unions reach agreement

NZ Bus, the Tramways Union and First Union are very pleased to announce that following a last ditch meeting this morning they have reached a proposed settlement for the Collective Employment Agreement covering bus drivers and service staff in Auckland.

All planned Industrial action including the strike on Monday 24th September has been called off and all Metrolink, North Star, Go West, Waka Pacific and LINK bus services including school bus services will now operate as normal.

“This agreement will see NZ Bus drivers amongst the highest paid in the industry” said Shane McMahon, Chief Operating Officer, NZ Bus.

“We are delighted that agreement has been reached and changes to the ratification process agreed. NZ Bus is committed to continue to invest in our people and resources to see public transport in Auckland grow” continued Mr. McMahon.

“We welcome this development and are pleased that the buses will be on the road to carry the travelling public this Monday” said Gary Froggatt from Tramways Union.

“Today’s meeting was positive, and we can see a way forward with some unity between the bus unions and the CTU, and NZ Bus,” said Karl Andersen from First Union

Well done to all parties for being able to come to an agreement.

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  1. Lets not get carried away…..

    All parties have NOT come to an agreement as per last week due to the fact that the drivers have yet to agree to these terms. The union blew it last week in the way they and the company handled the announcement of the previous turned down offer by drivers. When you talk about ratification it is key to remember that the 900 drivers that form the collect pay Tramways and First Union close to $250,000 a year to represent them, and since negoiations only arrive once every few years it is when the members expect to see their team perform well on their behalf. At the negoiation table they bended and twisted to appease the company while at the same time failing to keep their members in the loop. It has been a sad and process to witness, handled extremely badly by both parties from day one. I hope if this agreement is passed that NZ Bus pay more attention to the needs of their drivers and consult on a regular basis to improve the services they provide across Auckland.

  2. Sadly I have no confidence that this is the end of it. After all of this on/off again nonsense I wont be surprised if comes ‘back on’ in another week or so

  3. Absolutely. The notice was lifted a week ago when the drivers negotiators and the company negotiators reached a deal they thought would be ratified, when it wasn’t the notices went back in, now there’s another deal to try and ratify and the notices have been lifted again until it’s voted on.

  4. As I suggested on Sept 21st the NZ Bus drivers have yet again rejected the companies latest proposed contract offer. 407 votes rejected the offer – 391 votes accepted.
    First Union and the Tramways union now meet with delegates today to decide on what action is to be taken. As a blatant threat the Unions have already suggested drivers may not take fares from passengers which would only force a lockout by the company ceasing 70% of bus services Auckland wide indefinitely.

    When you compare their current wages to Veolia conductors who do not drive the trains, only clip tickets then it is possible understand their ongoing concerns. Here’s some comparisons to see who’s kidding who…..

    NZ BUS – $18.75 per hr. (4 weeks annual leave) Current.
    VEOILA – $21.75 per hr (5 weeks annual leave)

    NZ BUS overtime @ time and a quarter (23.45) ordinary time Sat/Sun.
    VEOILA – overtime @ time and a half (30.72) Sundays double time (40.96)

    HOWICK and EASTERN BUSES – $18.55 per hr. Overtime @ time and a half (27.82) Sundays @ time and a half (27.82)

    BIRKENHEAD BUSES – $19.34 per hr. Overtime @ time and a half (29.01) Sundays @ time and a half (29.01)

    RITCHIES – $18.05 per hr. (less then NZ Bus but with interesting conditions and a new 7.2% x2 year wage rise) Night shift allowance ($30 per shift tax free) $1250 a yr accident free bonus.

    NZ BUS WELLINGTON (same company and union) Lower hourly rate, but overtime @ time and a half (24.67) Saturdays the same but after 8 hours (32.90) Sundays @ double time (32.90) They also gain time and a half for CDOs and after 4 hours double time (32.90) + shift allowances of $8.75 per day.

    Many of the NZ BUS Auckland drivers will work 5 out of 8 weekends – at least a Saturday or Sunday, meaning they sacrifice quality time with family and their children for gainful employment. It is obvious then from the above figures that the public transport competitors in Auckland place a higher value on their staff driving overtime and/or Sundays.

    Why doesn’t NZ BUS in Auckland?

    If you worked an 8hr day on a Sunday at NZ BUS in Auckland you would earn $153.20 driving a large passenger vehicle around the streets and the loading numbers have increased markedly on weekends. The timetables are ridiculously tight on weekends and this places greater pressure on drivers to perform. Compare that to H&E $222.56, or BIRKENHEAD $232.08, a whopping $70 more! The Wellington drivers are the closest at $197.36, but VEOILA…..$325.76. Amazing.

    NZ BUS have offered time and a half on CDOs from the middle of next year, but that will effect very few drivers and not very often – a token gesture. Therefore they seem determined to push conditions and wages down and drag the Auckland drivers lower then the competition based on overtime and weekend work. But why?

    407 said no. They believe this company can and should allow their front line people to earn a decent living, especially based on the ongoing success of the company in Auckland and increased profits. 391 said yes, but I would suggest many of that number are sick and tired of the divide and conquer mentality of these drawn out, protracted negotiations and just can’t see an end in sight. it is no wonder that many high quality experienced drivers at NZ Bus are now looking to get out of the industry and investigate their options on better paying jobs or Australia.

    I believe the ratio of drivers for acceptance of the offer may now swing back the other way as they unite to fight an ongoing battle.

  5. I stand corrected on previous NZ BUS Wellington Sunday figures. $263.20 for an 8hr day versus $153.20 in Auckland…..same Company – $110 difference. Seriously?

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