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Stagecoach MD Brands Negotations 'Frustrating'

Monday January 16 2012

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.

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Reply Posted by Bowler279 on Monday January 16 2012 at 13:13
they shud b grateful they are being offered a rise at all with the way things are

Reply Posted by ''''''''''''''''''' on Monday January 16 2012 at 13:13
They want to be thankful they have a job & at £9.05 per hour its a bloody good wage compared to the many people who are struggling by on the £6.08 minimum wage!!

Reply Posted by lee on Monday January 16 2012 at 13:19
What an absolute disgrace, if they dont like the pay they should find another job. No wonder the bus fares are so high.

Reply Posted by lee on Monday January 16 2012 at 13:19
What an absolute disgrace, if they dont like the pay they should find another job. No wonder the bus fares are so high.

Reply Posted by Magzlaw on Monday January 16 2012 at 13:22
they want to feel themselves lucky they have a job, if they dunt like it, there is plenty more out there to take their jobs, my husband is a hgv driving all over the country n he dunt get that much an hour

Reply Posted by Young Matt on Monday January 16 2012 at 13:30
to be honest I agree whole heartedly with the drivers, as for all these comments about 'get another job' its really that easy isnt it. The hassle the drivers have to put up off some passengers they deserve a decent hourly rate and Stagecoach makes millions of pounds profit every year so its noyt like they cant afford it. The fares are high to keep Mrt Souter, the owner of Stagecoach happy not pay the drivers more and I only get paid minimum wage in my job that I hate

Reply Posted by traci on Monday January 16 2012 at 14:13
I think they shud be happy wi wat they`ve got, If they don`t like it then they shud find another job and leave an openin for sumone who wud be grateful to be bringin that home

Reply Posted by GuestyMcguest on Monday January 16 2012 at 14:13
I think it's only right that WAB do a piece from the drivers side, I was one of the negs on this thread months ago, but it seems what's been reported is not the whole picture. From what I learned by reading other threads ( I could be wrong ) Stagecoach is offering higher payrises to drivers in other towns, Barnsley it seems is the only exception.  Could WAB please offer an impartial statement from the drivers please. And yeah there were a few drivers that were abusive and stupid on these threads but you know you get that on most threads.

Reply Posted by ............. on Monday January 16 2012 at 14:32
Its stupid an daft...they only sit round drivin a bus all day an expect a big wage....hows about give the soliders more money for what they do...the ungratefull gets!!!! if there not happy wi the money dont do the job an get another job simple as tht...

Reply Posted by Imi on Monday January 16 2012 at 14:40
they make me sick,and their on saying its NOT about the MONEY.... 

Reply Posted by Barnsleygit on Monday January 16 2012 at 15:51
All you lot saying the drivers should be grateful for the increase and be happy with £9.05, you should try and be a bus driver in this day and age, the abuse and hassle we have to put up with is beyond belief! I have been driving buses myself for 8 years now both in UK and abroad, here in the UK we are some of the worse payed drivers and face the most abusive passengers, as for there being plenty of people who could do the job, get real, nobody wants to do it! it costs more than £2000 to get a PCV licence now and when you get it you have one of the most stressful jobs in the world, sure £9.05 an hour might sound good but over 39 hours that works out at just over £270 a week to be abused and degraded by passengers and other motorists, without us lot who would take the old biddies to bingo and take the pi$$ heads home on a Saturday night!

Reply Posted by on Monday January 16 2012 at 16:49
Hello Guesty - just so you are aware We Are Barnsley very  publicly offered to go to the picket line today to speak to drivers and get their side. Unfortunately though, they felt it was not something they could take part in and I was warned many drivers would not speak to me. We have tried, but we can't force people to do something they aren't comfortable with. I would have more than happily reported from the picket line today but instead this was the only piece I could deliver.

Reply Posted by Inmyopinion on Monday January 16 2012 at 17:25
The fares have never been better, where else can you go from Wakefield, Pontefract and end at Gainsboro, Nottingham,Derbyshire and back for £5.20. If drivers dont like the hassle then get out, its not all that bad and i must say if some of the drivers tret people better then that would help. i am not saying that Stagecoach is all hunky dory but it is a two sided coin, as for other areas getting a better rise what about those that have not got one or a small increase, you will probably complain at that. after eight days of striking its not got them very far its just cost the company money which no doubt will come out of the profits which in turn would go towards the pay rise so really they are just wasting away their money 

Reply Posted by Garrylofts on Monday January 16 2012 at 20:14
you try it .getting up at 3am on days.-and finishing at 0030 to 0100 on lates.

Reply Posted by Darren Thornton on Tuesday January 17 2012 at 00:06
So what about finding out whether its true? Are the bus drivers in barnsley getting paid less than bus drivers in the surrounding areas.
The excuse that the bus drivers wouldnt speak has no bearing on finding the information, the same people that told you what they offered could tell you if the pay is different.
Please report both sides of the story as this article is totally one sided and there was me thinking the news was meant to get the entire picture.

Reply Posted by Guestymcguest on Tuesday January 17 2012 at 07:50
Fair dos I suppose, which trade union are they in? I'm surprised they haven't done a press release.

Reply Posted by ladybusdriver on Thursday January 26 2012 at 13:53
Reading through these comments I can see that clearly some of you still feel that its the common working man/woman that is responsable for the state of our country... actually you are right, because we rarely if either have the balls to stand up to the fat cats that pay us, or to the banks that rob us then just sit there and compalin because you dont liek the fact that somebody has teh balls to stand up when you dont... yeah we all have it crap and us bus drivers are trying to do something about it, whatever happened to Barnsley spirit and backing the underdog eh? these £9.05 offers, yes without reading the fine print look fanstatic, but with most things that seem to good to be true, its cos it is. We earn over £1 an hour less than First and £2.50 an hour less than Arriva, the Barnsley stagecoach Depot, the worst paid in the country, good ol'Barnsley eh, dont mind being kicked in teeth... now then I could be your sister, your mother, your wife, your girlfriend, last night on my bus i was in a scary sittutation, in the middle of Mexborough with three, druggys that were pissed up and being very aggressive to me and refusing to get off my bus, our panic button dosent call the police,often our radio's arnt answered, i cant get out of my cab and call the police for fear of being physically attacked and i cant call from my cab cos when CCTV is pulled i will be instantly sacked... what do you do? is working antisocial hours with antisocial people really worth just £8.11 an hour... or do you as a human being think that maybe we might have a good cause for fighting for better pay and conditions? come on 'Man up' Barnsley get some f**king balls.

Reply Posted by Buster on Thursday February 2 2012 at 11:20
Hey, Dumbo, quite a number of drivers who pass through here ARE ex-services, including yours truly.  At least in the army you get some recognition and good treatment. You get nothing of that here. It is the  treatment and lack of respect that is the problem, (everything is geared towards "company image" and "making more profit" ), and the pay is only part of the problem.

 Take good note of this. Economic systems such as Six Sigma and Lean and indeed Lean/Six Sigma are turning the work force of this country into mindless, spiritless, desensitized robots.
Humans are being made to serve a monetary system, which is not only very perverse but, also very destructive to the Human Spirit.
Money is supposed to be a tool for Humans to use, not the other way around.

You should be grateful that some people have the guts to oppose these dehumanizing systems.

Yes, these times are hard.
Yes, I understand that pay going out should be pro-rata  to money coming in, ( to the business minded person ) BUT, some warmth needs to be introduced to offset the  cold-heartedness of the business world.
All our lives are going down the drain, fast. Time is flying. We will all die one day.

Don't waste Life bowing down to monetary systems and numbers.

There are two acts of Good Will that can resolve this dispute:-
1/. Pay the drivers the full back-pay to April 2011, which is a major sticking point.
2/. Work on mutual respect and recognition. Re-humanize the workplace, the day to day life. No more Us and Them.

 Oh, and who made me join the army? No one. I volunteered. It was my own choice and I don't expect anyone to be grateful for that.
Something else, if you are not a bus driver then you should try it before mouthing off,  or are you just another armchair hypocrite. Judging by your mentality, you couldn't hack it anyway, pal.
Myself, I would rather be in the army but, I'm too old to go back so, I will have to fight for improvement here, where I am, and shrug off all the pathetic little pea-brained comments from numb-skulls such as yourself.

Reply Posted by Buster on Thursday February 2 2012 at 11:57
The bus fares used to be cheap until Thatcher savaged this country.
Now big business has shareholders (people who want money for nothing) to pay, and political parties to fund.
Don't fall into the trap of blaming the drivers who have virtual whip-marks on their backs.

Reply Posted by Bowser on Thursday February 2 2012 at 17:23
It's not all about money, these drivers have to put up with a hell of a lot of abuse sometimes physical, what protection have they got? and why should they have to put up with that??
£8.11 is NOT enough money for the anti social hours and abuse they receive, they only want whats fair and people who haven't done the job shouldn't sit there gobbin off at the ones that do!!

Reply Posted by Young Matt on Thursday February 2 2012 at 17:55
I agree whole heartedly Bowser but theyve lost my support on these latest strikes now as the pay rise has been offered but these latest round are for a backdate which is pure greed so Im afraid the strikers have lost my support, the rise that all the drivers wanted has now been offered why dont they just accept

Reply Posted by Buster on Friday February 3 2012 at 00:58
It's not about greed. It's about standing up for honest dealing against those in the company who just juggle numbers about trying to pull a fast one all the time.
We are not little kids at a puppet show that can be fooled by grinning, plastic faced geeks and their fancy sleight of hand tricks but, there are those in the company who are so deluded that they think they can con. everyone all the time.
There are a lot of strands at work in this strike and if you do not understand all that is going on then perhaps you should keep your ill informed nose out of it.