Bus drivers turn down 12% pay rise

The Herald reports:

Auckland bus drivers turned their back on a $500 sweetener from the region’s public transport agency when they rejected advice from union leaders yesterday to accept a new company pay offer.

Emotions ran high at Alexandra Park racecourse after about 55 per cent of almost 650 drivers and cleaners voted by secret ballot to reject the offer from Infratil subsidiary NZ Bus of pay rises amounting to $2 an hour by the final stage of a three-year deal.

That would have lifted the top hourly wage for drivers with nine months’ service or more to $17.45 now, $18.15 next year, and $18.75 in February 2012.

Putting aside the $500, that is a 12% increase over three years. A full time salary of $39,100 for driving a bus.

At a time of low inflation and rising unemployment, their decision is regrettable. They even went against their own unions’ recommendation to accept.

If they think they can do better than $39,000 elsewhere, maybe they should offer their services to another company.

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