Hackney council blamed for new wave of planned strikes which will affect bussing disabled children to school
- Thursday 6 June 2019
Hackney council is being blamed for six days of planned strikes by drivers and passenger escorts on school buses for disabled children in a new dispute over payments for working split shifts.
Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said its 38 members, who drive and assist the children to and from school on a daily basis, will stage six 24 hour strikes on 18, 20, 25 and 27 June as well as 4 and 9 July, all starting at 00.01. The staff voted unanimously for the new strike days.
The dispute centres on a £50 a week claim for compensation for the split shifts, backdated to July last year when the issue was first raised. Unite said this claim is based on the next grade in the Green Book national agreement which the union believes is the correct one for this group of workers.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This new dispute is a result of council bosses adamantly refusing to negotiate for nearly a year.
“But ‘enough is enough’, as our members live in one of the world’s most expensive cities. If these strikes go ahead because of the authority’s continued intransigence, the blame will be at its door.
“The last thing our members want is to cause the children any distress.
“The impact of the strikes will be significant as Unite represents the majority of drivers and passenger escorts - and the council cannot run the service without our members.
“That said, Unite’s door for talks is open for realistic and constructive negotiations, so we can avert this industrial action.”
The workers staged two days of strike action recently in a similar dispute, which was not resolved.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.