‘Indefinite’ strike action at Go North East as drivers reject record pay deal

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Bus drivers at Go North East are set to start a 12-week strike after turning down a pay offer that would have made them the best-paid bus drivers in the North East.

An indefinite strike involving bus drivers at Go North East is set to begin on Saturday, October 28, as they turn down a “landmark” pay offer that would have seen them be the highest paid drivers in the North East.

The proposed deal, which was offered earlier this week, would have increased hourly rates for drivers to £14.15, meaning drivers working a standard week would have seen thier pay rise by almost £2,700 a year - a 10.3% boost to pay.

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Drivers who chose to work overtime would have to stood to make an extra £3,000 per year.

Go North East has stated that driver-opinion favoured accepting the deal when it was announced and have accused lobbing by Unite representatives to force a ‘no’ vote.

Bus drivers at Go North East will begin a 12-week strike after rejecting a “landmark” pay deal. Photo: Go North East.Bus drivers at Go North East will begin a 12-week strike after rejecting a “landmark” pay deal. Photo: Go North East.
Bus drivers at Go North East will begin a 12-week strike after rejecting a “landmark” pay deal. Photo: Go North East. | Go North East

Ben Maxfield, business director at Go North East, has expressed his dismay at the rejection of the pay offer.

He said: “We are baffled. Drivers wanted an above inflation deal, no changes to conditions and top-of-themarket rates.

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“We responded to each and every one of those demands, which makes it hard to understand why the union would press ahead with 12-weeks of industrial action”.

“This has become a strike entirely of the union’s own making.

”Immediately after learning of the ballot outcome, we appealed to the union to reconsider and suspend the strike. Unfortunately, this was met with a flat refusal”.

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Go North East has moved to reassure the public that the company remains committed to finding a solution to the disruption caused by the strikes as soon as possible.

As it stands, there will be no Go North East buses running during the strike period, except for contracted school services.

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