Arriva bus strikes called off as new pay agreement reached with unions

Merseyside buses will return to service from 3am on Thursday while the deal is finalised.

The Arriva bus strike that has brought Merseyside services to a standstill for nearly a month has been called of after the company put forward an improved pay offer.

Around 1,800 workers who have been on strike since 20 July will return to work on Thursday, August 18, and be balloted on the new deal.

Union members strike at Arriva’s Green Lane depot. Image: LTV

The Unite an GMB unions, which rejected a number of previous offers as they demanded fair pay in line with the cost of living crisis, have advised members to accept the deal.

The new one year 11.1% offer, which will be backdated to April, will be voted on over the next two days, with the result declared on Friday afternoon.

Dave Roberts, regional officer for Unite the Union

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Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: “Following our members’ very strong rejection of the company’s offer yesterday evening, Arriva have seen sense and met the demands of our members by tabling an 11.1% pay deal.

“The strike is suspended pending the outcome of the ballot and drivers are to return to work tomorrow 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.”

Arriva North West offered a pay increase of 9.6% on Friday - having previously refused to budge from 8.5% - but it was ‘overwhelmingly rejected’ by workers.

In a statement on Wednesday, 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.

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

“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.

“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.”