Union agrees to last-ditch strike meeting
UPDATE 5.10pm: First Union says it has agreed to meet NZ Bus tomorrow to discuss how a planned series of bus strikes can be avoided.
Karl Andersen of First Union, speaking for the combined bus unions, told NBR ONLINE it will meet NZ Bus but is not prepared to lift the strike notice beforehand.
"We're prepared to talk about it at the meeting but not before."
Earlier, Auckland company NZ Bus requested an urgent meeting with unions to try and avoid Monday's strike.
More than 800 bus drivers have planned strikes for the next eight Mondays after a breakdown in pay talks.
NZ Bus chief operation officer Shane McMahon says in a statement this afternoon the company would retable a previous offer.
“We would also like to work with the unions immediately, to see if there is any way they are willing to assist us in ensuring school children can get to and from school safely on Monday.”
Mr Andersen said he had not been in contact with NZ Bus and would have to consider whether to meet the company over a previously tabled and rejected offer.
Auckland Transport says thousands of school children could potentially be affected by Monday's strikes.
Infratil-owned NZ Bus operates Auckland's Link services, as well as North Star, Waka Pacific and Go West.
Auckland Transport says some services on major arterial routes will be covered by other bus operators if the strike goes ahead.