21 Sep 2012

Unions confident drivers will accept latest offer

8:30 pm on 21 September 2012

The unions representing hundreds of Auckland bus drivers are confident their members will accept a new pay offer, which has averted strike action.

A First Union spokesperson says it is an improved offer and he is confident the deal will be accepted.

He says drivers will vote on the deal next week, at separate meetings at each depot.

Drivers employed by NZ Bus, Auckland's largest bus company, last week rejected an earlier offer.

They intended to strike every Monday for the next eight weeks, from next Monday.

However, on Friday the company presented a new pay offer to the First Union, and the Tramways Union.

Neither party would say exactly what the offer is, but the unions have called off Monday's strike.

The previous offer was for a three-stage pay rise to $20 an hour.

NZ Bus chief operating officer Shane McMahon said after Friday's meeting the deal would make the bus drivers the highest paid in Auckland.

"NZ Bus has made some compromise in order to avoid industrial action, and the unions have both agreed that they will positively recommend that offer when they take it back to members."

Mr McMahon says the lifting of the strike notice is good news for Aucklanders.