4 Sep 2012

Auckland bus drivers set to strike on Mondays

10:31 pm on 4 September 2012

Auckland's largest fleet of buses will be off the roads when drivers take strike action over the next two months.

FIRST Union, which represents some drivers, says it has stepped up industrial action against NZ Bus following failed mediation talks on Tuesday.

Bus drivers have issued a strike notice and plan to stop work every Monday from 17 September for a nine-week period. Buses will not run from 4am until 1.30am on Tuesday.

The union says NZ Bus, which runs most of the buses in Auckland, is stalling on paying drivers $20 per hour and the parties can't agree on when drivers should get the agreed pay rise.

Union spokesperson Gary Froggatt says the company is arguing that such a rise is too costly, but other bus companies in Auckland have settled for more than what the union asked for.

Mr Froggatt says the industrial action is a strategic move and bus drivers don't want to inconvenience passengers.

NZ Bus was unavailable for comment on Tuesday. Its services include The North Star, Go West, Metrolink, Waka Pacific and the city, inner and outer link routes.