Arriva 'extremely disappointed' as new pay offer and back pay is refused

Arriva has said it is 'extremely disappointed' at Unite's decision not to ballot their members on a new pay offer.

By Leanne Clarke
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 12:11 pm

No deal was met between Arriva and Unite during four hours of negotiations yesterday.

In a statement, Arriva Yorkshire said they had presented a further increased pay offer to Unite for our colleagues.

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Arriva strike: No deal made between Arriva and bus workers after four hours of n...

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No deal was met between Arriva and Unite during four hours of negociations yesterday.

"We were hopeful talks would lead to a positive outcome and the ending of strike action across Yorkshire.

"However, we’re extremely disappointed at Unite's ongoing decision to not ballot their members on this offer.

"Our customers will no doubt share this frustration as strikes will continue to have a negative impact on our communities.

"We repeat our call for the strike to be suspended and for the union to take our offer to our employees so that communities can access vital bus services."

The industrial action by Unite members started at 2am on Monday, June 6, halting services in Wakefield and the whole of West Yorkshire and is to last for 'for an undisclosed period of time'

Unite says that German-owned Arriva’s low pay across Yorkshire means bus workers are struggling to make ends meet amid the cost of living crisis.

Newly recruited bus drivers are paid only £9.78 an hour - just 28 pence above the minimum wage.

Last week, Phil Bown, Unite's regional officer, apologised for the disruption to passengers but said drivers have no intention of standing down.

"The passengers are collateral damage which is unfortunate. I do feel sorry for them and I want to apologise for the inconvenience but my members can't continue putting up with what they do," he said.

"We have been trying to resolve this for eight months without hurting passengers but Arriva aren't interested. They are the ones that have caused the strike, no one else."

Reacting to the breakdown in talks between Arriva Yorkshire and Unite the Union, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: "I am deeply disappointed talks have broken down earlier today between Unite and Arriva Yorkshire.

"As a bus user, I understand the frustrations of passengers and want nothing more than this action to be resolved. Sadly, because bus services outside of London are run by private operators, our powers are limited.

"Earlier this week, I introduced a free shuttle bus to take people to vital hospital appointments at Pinderfields in Wakefield, and we are continuing to look at what other interim measures we can implement to help.

"In a cost-of-living crisis people need to be paid a fair wage but we also need to get our region back on the move.

"I’ve met with Arriva Yorkshire and Unite and urged them to come to an agreement for the benefit of those needing to get to work, school and around the region.

"I sincerely hope that both sides can come together as soon as possible."