Unions plan more bus service disruption

NZ Bus drivers will walk off the job in Auckland on Monday to vote again on whether to strike over stalled pay talks.

The agreement covering Tramways and First Union drivers expired in July, and months of talks – including the threat of strike action – culminated in NZ Bus making a "final offer" of a staged pay rise to $20.40 an hour.

While a strike was called off last month, the more than 800 drivers covered by the two unions have already rejected the offer and, according to NZ Bus, will vote again on strike action on Monday.

"It appears some drivers will simply not accept that a fair or final deal has been struck until they have gone on strike," NZ Bus chief operating officer Shane McMahon says in a statement.

Karl Andersen of First Union, speaking for the combined bus unions, says it is "highly probable" a strike vote will be taken on Monday but he did not want to predict the outcome.

"It depends on a number of things and one of the things is how many people turn up.

"The voting's very split."

The company says all Metrolink, North Star, Go West, Waka Pacific, and Link buses will halt between 9.30am and 2.30pm on Monday, but school buses will not be affected and full services will resume from 2.30pm.

The Infratil-owned company runs more than 650 buses across the city covering more than 200 routes.

Infratil shares (NZX: IFT) are unchanged today at $2.16, and have risen 15% this year.

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