‘Relieved it’s over’ - Arriva bus strikes called off while unions vote on new pay offer

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Around 1,800 workers are returning to work as bus services return to Merseyside roads on Thursday.

Arriva North West bus strikes have been called off after the company put forward an improved pay offer this week.

Around 1,800 workers belonging to Unite and GMB unions, who have been on strike since 20 July, returned to work on Thursday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The one year 11.1% pay offer, which will be backdated to April, will now be put to ballot of union members, with the result declared on Friday afternoon. Unite and GMB have advised workers to accept the deal.

The breakthrough comes after it was announced on Tuesday that more than three-quarters of drivers voted to reject the bus operator’s previous offer of 9.6%.

The industrial action has been affecting commuters throughout the region for nearly a month, but the large majority have shown support for bus workers.

‘I am supportive of them’

Jennifer shares her thoughts on the Arriva bus strikesJennifer shares her thoughts on the Arriva bus strikes
Jennifer shares her thoughts on the Arriva bus strikes | Local TV

Jennifer said: "I do have sympathy for them and I am supportive of them. I feel as if they’re in their rights to do what they’re doing otherwise they'd just be in poverty."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘I understand because the cost of living has gone up’

Liz shares her thoughts on the Arriva bus strikesLiz shares her thoughts on the Arriva bus strikes
Liz shares her thoughts on the Arriva bus strikes | Local TV

Liz said: "I understand because the cost of living has gone up and everything but that isn’t in anyone’s control. It’s not in our control, it’s not in the government's either because we’ve come through the pandemic."

‘I am relieved it’s over’

Karen shares her thoughts on the Arriva bus strikesKaren shares her thoughts on the Arriva bus strikes
Karen shares her thoughts on the Arriva bus strikes | Local TV

Karen said: "You don’t know what you missed until it’s gone. When you’re not driving you rely on public transport. I am relieved it’s over."

Breakthrough in pay talks

After the meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Arriva said: "Arriva North West is today able to confirm that following ongoing discussions in recent weeks, all parties have come to an agreement on an unprecedented pay deal for Arriva North West drivers."

"Following a meeting today, in which the agreement was reached, Unions will now take this recommended offer to our colleagues."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Furthermore, it has also been agreed that industrial action across Cheshire, Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside will be suspended from 3am on Thursday 18th August and all parties will now work together to progress the pay offer."

Dave Roberts, regional officer for Unite the UnionDave Roberts, regional officer for Unite the Union
Dave Roberts, regional officer for Unite the Union | LTV

Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: "Unite's negotiating team is recommending the offer be accepted and it is being put to members in a vote.

"The strike is suspended pending the outcome of the ballot and drivers are to return to work to serve the needs of the community and public.

“The determination and resolve of our members has been solid throughout the industrial action and we thank those who have provided support and assistance to secure the offer from the company."

Return of bus services

Timetable and Journey information, for Arriva North West services returning on Thursday 18th August can be found online at arrivabus.co.uk and via the Arriva journey planning.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.