Union calls off Norfolk bus strike for ballot on fresh offer

A Norfolk Green bus ABCDE ANL-140915-095312001
A Norfolk Green bus ABCDE ANL-140915-095312001

A strike by bus drivers in West Norfolk has now been suspended following a fresh pay offer from the company.

Members of the RMT Union who work for Stagecoach Buses, which includes Norfolk Green, were due to stage a walk-0ut and form picket lines outside the main depot tomorrow (Tuesday, November 24) in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

But discussions between union officials and company bosses, held over two days last week, has resulted in a fresh pay offer.

The RMT’s executive committee yesterday agreed to suspend the strike action for a referendum over the new offer.

Norfolk Green and Stagecoach services in Norfolk will be running as normal tomorrow.

Regional organiser for the RMT Steve Smart said this will be held as soon as possible.

Mr Smart said: “We welcome the offer from the company because it is in line with members’ proposals.

“At the first opportunity, we have got this extension which allows the suspension to take place and the company has agreed to the extension for the referendum to take place.

“We want to negotiate a settlement, we didn’t want members going on strike.

“It is now members decision on whether to accept the offer or not.”

RMT members met on Wednesday night and this was followed by discussions between unions and the company over Thursday and Friday.

Due to the weekend, the revised offer was not able to put before the union’s executive committee until yesterday.

The new offer proposes to introduce an attendance allowance straight away into drivers pay packets rather than over a three-year period.

A two per cent payrise will be given in the second year and this will be followed in the third year by a 2.2 per cent increase.

Weekend payment rates will be retained.

Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach East, has welcomed the decision.

Mr Campbell said: “We are pleased for our customers that the planned strike action has been suspended and we hope we are a step closer to reaching an agreement with the union.”