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Bus strike off

Bus strike off

Monday 02 July 2018

Bus strike off


The threatened strike action by Guernsey's bus drivers has been called off following a meeting with their employers last night.

While it is not yet clear what was agreed at the meeting on Sunday night, CT Plus said all services are running as normal today.

The strike action had been threatened last week, as bus drivers struck out at CT Plus over long working hours, short breaks and passenger safety. The drivers had said they may strike on Monday 2 July, if their conditions weren't immediately approved. 

At that time, the drivers said if all of the proposed changes were agreed, any vote for strike action would be deferred for 14 days, with CT Plus explaining that would be for a "period of implementation." 

It's not the first time Guernsey's bus drivers have threatened strike action since CT Plus took on the service in 2012. Strike action was a reality in 2013 when drivers staged a one day walk out, leaving the island without a service at short notice. 

On this occasion, strike action has been averted today but it is not yet clear if it has been called off entirely or just postponed. 

In a statement released on Sunday 1 July, shortly before 23:00, CT Plus said all services would run as normal the following day after a drivers' representative said the discussed strike action would no longer be taking place. 

Last week, CT Plus' Kevin Hart issued a statement on the matter outlining the company's response to the growing threat of strike action.

He said that he had met with Mr Howie [a driver representative] last Monday to explore his concerns, and that Mr Hart had promised to return on Thursday with the new duty cards our scheduler had been working on. When he did so, Mr Hart said that Mr Howie refused to meet.

Mr Hart said the company acknowledged the hard work the drivers' put in and their concerns were being addressed prior to the threat of strike action, which has now been lifted. 

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Mr Hart also said he wanted to set the record straight about how exactly the bus drivers operated - he said CT Plus use UK domestic drivers' hours regulations and stick to them.

"We have nine different rota patterns that aim to balance the needs of the service and driver choice, some four day weeks, some five; some days longer, some shorter. The average number of hours worked on the combination of driver rotas is 46 hours 36 minutes.

"Difficulties with housing and population mean there are vacancies – which means overtime is available. There is no compulsory overtime – it is entirely voluntary and very popular. Drivers who routinely request lots of overtime do work very hard indeed, but is always with in regulated hours and entirely up to them. Safety is of the utmost importance to us. No one is asked to drive at any time if they feel unfit to do so."

One of the claims made by the bus drivers was that their time to complete allocated routes had been reduced - Mr Hart said this was "simply incorrect".

 

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