- Bus operator “leaving no stone unturned” in attempt to reach settlement
- Drivers at Stagecoach South West offered 9.7% hourly pay rate increase
- Proposed deal will deliver annual pay increase of close to £1,000
- New starter package includes pension, sick pay, holiday and free family travel
- Company calls on union to “put communities first and talk not walk”
Stagecoach South West confirmed today (11 October 2021) that it has made a fresh pay offer to the RMT trade union in a bid to break the deadlock and reach an agreement.
A new deal has been put to the RMT covering employees at the company’s bases in Exeter, Exmouth, Barnstaple, Tiverton, Torquay, Paignton and Newton Abbot.
Drivers have been offered an increase of 9.7% in their hourly pay rate from 10 October 2021.
The deal, which incorporates productivity improvements, would give drivers close to a guaranteed £1,000 extra a year in annual pay, with the opportunity to also earn overtime.
Improvements have also been offered to new start employees to help their career path in the sector. This includes a higher training rate, as well as an attractive package of pension, sick pay, holiday and free family travel benefits.
Mike Watson, Managing Director at Stagecoach South West, said: “Buses are a lifeline for local people across the South West. We are committed to ensuring our people who keep our communities connected are properly rewarded, particularly after their contribution to the country over the past 18 months of the pandemic.
“We have worked tirelessly to protect the jobs of our people during the pandemic and have left no stone unturned to deliver a fair and sustainable pay agreement for employees across our bus depots.
“Our offer will deliver a substantial improvement in the pay package available to all of our employees, including new starts who are looking to build a career in the bus sector.
“For our bus drivers, it will deliver a near £1,000 a year increase in pay, as well as other related improvements.”
Mr Watson added: “We would urge the RMT to put our people and the communities first by supporting our offer and ending the uncertainty for everyone who depends on the region’s bus services as we look to recover from the pandemic.
“Strike action is completely unnecessary and would simply damage the lives and livelihoods of hard-working people, including our employees, as well as the region’s businesses.” Bus services are facing a continuing challenging financial environment with passenger levels significantly down on pre-Covid levels. Passenger fares are significantly short of what is needed to cover the day-to-day costs of running services without government support.