26 Sep 2018

Wellington bus drivers vote to strike next month

4:14 pm on 26 September 2018

Wellington bus drivers have voted to strike in October unless their demand for collective agreements is met.

Wellington Go Bus bus.

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

At a stop-work meeting today Tramways union members voted on whether to walk off work on 23 October.

They will strike in a bid to get the three separate operators they work for to put forward an offer for as collective agreement.

It comes as the new network continues to cause disruptions, with buses late or cancelled, or too full.

Tramways union spokesperson Kevin O'Sullivan said before the vote that union members would not take the decision to strike lightly, as walking off the job would cause severe disruptions.

The strike would last until an collective agreement proposal was given to drivers, Mr O'Sullivan said.

"If we don't get a proposal by the 23rd we'll stop work, and we won't come back until we get a proposal."

The agreement with NZBus was due to expire, and Tranzurban, Tranzit, and Uzabus did not have agreements for their drivers.

Mr O'Sullivan said drivers wanted the same agreement they were on before the council divided up the work last year.

He said drivers who were made redundant and then got jobs with Tranzit or Uzabus had a significant cut in their terms and conditions of employment.

"As a union we can't just sit back and say that's okay."

Drivers also raised a vote of no confidence in the regional council, and called for a commissioner to take over the region's public transport.

The three bus companies and the regional council have been approached for comment.

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