BUS drivers working for Stagecoach are striking again today (Monday) in a row over pay. The drivers voted against a new offer of £9.05 an hour (a 5.5 per cent pay increase) at a recent meeting and agreed to proceed with the strikes. But Paul Lynch, MD of Stagecoach, says he is 'extremely disappointed' that the strike went ahead.

In a statement issued to press, he said: "After many months of negotiation, and several other pay offers, in a challenging economic climate, it is very frustrating we have not been able to reach an agreement. “Against an economic backdrop where millions of others are seeing their pay frozen or reduced, we are very disappointed that the drivers have chosen to take strike action which will only hit the pockets of the employees involved. “In each of the previous years since Stagecoach Yorkshire took over operations in Barnsley, Rotherham and the Dearne Valley, drivers have received a better than inflation (RPI) pay rise as well as other improvements too, for example, holiday and pension arrangements. Indeed with a rate of £9.05, pay would have risen by 26 per cent since our takeover in 2006. “As with the previous strike dates, our priority now is ensuring the majority of passengers are unaffected by the industrial action with a robust contingency timetable. “To make sure that any disruption is kept to a minimum, we have brought in volunteer managers and supervisors from other areas and these staff will receive no extra salary or bonuses.”

Many Stagecoach drivers have been on to We Are Barnsley Facebook wall and website, stating they did not accept the offer because there were 'strings attached.' They say they are only asking for the same wage as other Yorkshire Stagecoach drivers.