Bus services in Aylesbury Vale face severe disruption as Arriva workers threaten to strike

Workers from the main bus service in operation throughout Aylesbury Vale are threatening to strike over pay rises offered by their bosses.

By James Lowson
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 5:32 pm
Updated Friday, 8th July 2022, 10:20 am

Arriva workers will vote on whether to strike in the wake of an ‘outrageous’ offer sent to its drivers, admin staff, engineers, cleaners and shunters.

Trade union, Unite states pay rises offered at between four and six per cent, represent a real terms pay cut.

Given that the real rate of inflation, RPI in the UK stands at 11.7%.

A series of Arriva buses operate in and out of Aylesbury

Around 900 union members will vote on whether to strike in protest of the terms offered by the German-owned bus service.

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Also included in the terms of the new deal is a reduction of 16.6 per cent in overtime rates and an end to paid time for compulsory duties outside of driving, like travelling to a bus stop to pick up a bus mid-route.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The strings attached to this so-called pay offer are outrageous – they reduce the value of the offer to zero. Arriva is asking our members to take a huge cut in the value of their earnings. That is simply unacceptable.

“Arriva is part of a global transport giant. It can afford to pay its workers properly and Unite is determined that it will do so.”

Starting on 13 July, workers at Arriva’s depots in Luton, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Ware, and Stevenage will submit votest on a potential strike, the ballot closes on 10 August.

Villages and smaller towns in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire would be dramatically affected by any mass strike.

Unite regional officer Jeff Hodge said: “Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption to bus passengers across the region, but this dispute is entirely of Arriva’s own making as workers are not prepared to accept a pay cut disguised as a rise.

Disruption can be avoided if Arriva makes a pay offer which meets members’ expectations.”

Nearly 2,000 Unite members employed by Arriva in the North West have recently voted to strike over pay, while over 650 Yorkshire Arriva workers were on strike earlier in the summer over the same issue.