Concern strike action could have '˜massive impact' on Sheffield's bus network Â

Sheffield bus workers are being balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay which could have a '˜massive impact' on services.  Â

By The Newsroom
Monday, 24th September 2018, 1:15 pm
Updated Monday, 24th September 2018, 1:17 pm
First buses.
First buses.

Cleaners and engineers who work for First in the city have rejected the company's pay offer of 2.15 per cent and they will now be asked to vote on the possibility of industrial action.

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Bus bosses and representatives for Unite have been locked in talks for more than a week over the dispute and the union revealed today that they have failed to reach an agreement. 

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Unite regional coordinating officer Steve Clark said: 'Our cleaners and engineers at First Buses in Sheffield have overwhelmingly rejected the company's pay offer of 2.15 per cent.

'The workforce then voted in a consultative ballot that they wished to go forward with a full-scale industrial action ballot that will include the option for strike action.

'We are in the process of preparing the paperwork for such a ballot that will occur in the coming weeks.

'In the meantime, we are calling for constructive talks with the management on an improved offer for the dedicated workforce, before the prospect of industrial action becomes a reality.'

A staff member at First South Yorkshire's Olive Grove bus depot in Sheffield raised concern that strike action could cause major disruption for passengers across the city. 

The worker, who did not want to be named, said last week: 'I can't see anyone voting against strike action and we want to make people aware of what the impact could be.

'It is going to have a massive impact on the Sheffield area. It would affect engineers, cleaners, there would be no-one to refuel the buses, clean or maintain them and there would be no breakdown cover, which will mean the buses just won't be able to run.'

Kevin Belfield, managing director at First South Yorkshire, said: 'We are committed to continued talks with Unite the union.'