Well the bus drivers have rejected the latest pay offer:
Union negotiators say they will regroup and assess their next step after the Auckland bus drivers and cleaners they represent today rejected a pay offer from their employer.
The offer of an 11.5 per cent pay rise spread over three years was contained in an agreement reached last Friday between New Zealand Bus and the four unions making up the Auckland Combined Unions.
The unions’ bargaining unit had recommended the new combined employment agreement (CEA), which would have covered about 900 staff, be ratified.
However, combined unions spokesman Karl Andersen said it was voted down “by quite a large majority” of the 700-800 at a meeting today.
Members considered the offer was “just not enough”, he said.
Mr Andersen admitted he was “mildly surprised” by the outcome of the vote.
“We were recommending it as the best deal we could get,” he said.
“I guess you could say I was mildly surprised that it did not get over the line.”
The bargaining unit would meet again over the next few days, but Mr Andersen did not know when negotiations would resume with NZ Bus.
“We need to have a regroup ourselves and reassess where we’re going and what we’re going to present to the company.”
There was no immediate threat to bus services, which were disrupted last month for several days when negotiations between the parties stalled, he said.
The pay offer in the CEA envisaged increases of 4.2 per cent, 4 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively over the next three years.
NZ Bus operations general manager Zane Fulljames said the decision to turn it down “beggars belief”.
“It is immensely disappointing to our customers, our people and the business,” he said in a statement.
“The unions agreed to take and recommend the offer to their members. This did not happen.”
Mr Fulljames said the company would offer no further comment until it had had time to consider its position over the next few days.
NZ Bus and the unions, who represent most of the bus drivers and cleaners in the Auckland region, have been in negotiations since May.
The employees concerned work for the Metrolink, Go West, Waka Pacific, North Star, Link and City Circuit bus services.
It will be interesting to see if NZ Bus has learned from the utter public relations disaster they caused last time, by locking out the drivers for simply doing their jobs, by ‘working to rule’. If the drivers work to rule again – it will be interesting to see what happens.