Second bus strike begins in South Yorkshire after drivers reject Stagecoach pay offer

A week-long bus strike has entered its second day in South Yorkshire after drivers rejected the latest pay offer from Stagecoach.

Unite balloted members over a new deal put forward by the operator, but Stagecoach confirmed on Friday afternoon that this offer had been rejected by union members, with Unite saying it ‘fell well below their expectations’.

It follows another week-long strike held at the beginning of the month, though drivers have pledged not to walk out over Christmas as they don’t want to disrupt families’ plans during the festive period.

Phil Medlicott, Managing Director for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We can now confirm that the latest pay offer has been rejected and further strike action will take place starting this weekend. 

We have worked tirelessly to protect the jobs of our people during the pandemic, and we are also leaving no stone unturned in our current pay discussions with Unite. We believe our people should be properly rewarded and at the same time the long-term sustainability of the bus network for local communities should be protected. 

“However, there needs to be flexibility on both sides. We have now made several different above inflation offers, including multi-year proposals to give additional security to our people. It is frustrating that there has not been the same approach from union representatives.

“Strike action is unnecessary and benefits no-one. It damages the lives of local people who depend on buses to get to work and access public services. It impacts local businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic, especially at this critical time of year. And it ultimately puts employees’ own jobs at risk.

"We want to work together with the union to reach a solution. But any aspirations need to reflect the fact that passenger numbers on the country's bus networks remain significantly below pre-Covid levels.

"Stagecoach has successfully agreed pay rises for thousands of other employees at depots across the country and we remain open to continuing discussions with the union. With the right constructive approach from the union, there is no reason why a resolution cannot be achieved in Yorkshire."

  • Updates on affected areas can be found here.