A 48-hour strike by drivers and passenger escorts on school buses for disabled children in Hackney will be staged next month due to ‘continued council intransigence’ in a 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 strike for 48 hours on Wednesday 9 October starting at 00.01.

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.

The new strike follows six 24 hour strikes over the summer.
 
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Our members will again be taking strike action because of the council’s continued intransigence to take the issue of payments for split shifts seriously over the last year.

“The bosses’ proposals do nothing to improve the pay of our members who provide this vital service.

“When an employer fails to take our members seriously, we have no other option but to take strike action – it is always a last resort. Our members definitely don’t want to cause the children any distress.

“However, we say ‘Enough is enough’, as our members live in one of the world’s most expensive cities.

“The latest strike will be significant as Unite represents the majority of drivers and passenger escorts - and the council cannot run the service without our members.

“The council has attempted to deny that strike action will cause disruption – a better response would be to start engaging in meaningful negotiations with Unite.

“We have been ready to negotiate throughout the summer to reach an agreement, but this has not been matched by the council.”

ENDS

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

Email: shaun.noble@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.