Now this is just getting silly. Last week the bus drivers unions agreed to a deal with NZ Bus which saw their planned strikes called off but interestingly the bus drivers who met today decided to reject that offer. I don’t know what they are now demanding but it is very odd for the union leaders themselves to agree to a deal and recommend it but then have the members turn it down. This of course leaves commuters in the lurch once again and happens at a pretty critical time for PT in this city with things like the new bus network about to be consulted on which will also mean new contracts for the bus operators. Here is the press release from NZ Bus and understandably they seem frustrated:
Bus Drivers Vote Down Offer to be Highest Paid in Auckland
In a bizarre twist today drivers voted against the wage offer from NZ Bus, which was recommended by Tramways and First Union leadership and supported by Helen Kelly at the Council of Trade Unions.
Today’s ratification meeting was attended by only 517 of the 818 union drivers with more than one third not attending the meeting.
The parties met last Wednesday in mediation where NZ Bus, Tramways and First Union leaders agreed financial terms for ratification at today’s meeting. Both Tramways and First Union leadership agreed the offer was a good one and that they would positively recommend the offer at today’s ratification meeting.
Tramways and First Union had been engaged in industrial action ‘working to rule’ and NZ Bus had worked hard to minimise the impact on customers.
“ We managed to have the unions lift full blown strike action by giving them what they asked for in order to prevent impact on customers and today they turn around and reject an offer the union executive endorsed” Shane McMahon concluded.
“Negotiating with this group is a bit like Groundhog Day, it’s hugely frustrating – we worked very hard to see their point of view, worked constructively with them and reached agreement which they endorsed and then they vote it down”, said Shane McMahon COO NZ Bus.
NZ Bus operates Metrolink, City Link, Inner Link, Outer Link, North Star, Waka Pacific and Go West brands in Auckland. NZ Bus would like to apologise to customers in advance should the unions choose to escalate industrial action.