Buses will run during strike to support hospital key workers in Coventry

The limited Hospital Route Network will run on Thursday 16 March to Sunday 19 March. Credit: National Express

A leading transport company has committed to supporting health workers in Coventry during the upcoming bus strike.

National Express Coventry has been advised that its drivers and engineers will strike from Thursday 16 March.

It has confirmed the 9, 17 and 20A services to and from University Hospital will proceed during the strike, to ensure key workers can use their services.

The limited Hospital Route Network will run on Thursday 16 March to Sunday 19 March.

A spokesperson for National Express Coventry said: "We are very sorry to our customers who will be inconvenienced by this strike.

"We are doing all we can to resolve it and by providing this Hospital Route Network, we are also doing all we can to keep the region moving."

The company has offered bus drivers an increase of 13.4%, made up of 11.1% on the base rate backdated to January 2023, and a one-off payment of £630 which works out at 2.3%.

This is in addition to an average increase of 6% on pay rates provided already in November 2022. The union has refused to let the drivers vote on the offer.

A spokesperson added: "We are exploring what other services we can provide during the strike and will keep our customers updated on our website."

The company continues to talk to the union about how to bring an end to the strikes.

It follows months of strike action across the country involving several industries.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has been engaged in national rail strikes since June last year. They are currently balloting on a "new and improved" offer from Network Rail, which will run until Monday 20 March.

Strike action by thousands of ambulance workers, planned for this week, was suspended after unions agreed to further talks with the government.

Ambulance workers were due to walk out in a dispute over pay and conditions. But a "huge shift" from Downing Street has persuaded the GMB, Unison and Unite unions to return to the negotiating table.

The most senior hospital doctors in England are to be asked whether they are prepared to go on strike, the nation’s biggest doctors’ union has announced. The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced that consultants will be balloted over potential industrial action around 17 April.

It comes after the BMA conducted a poll to assess whether the most senior medics in the NHS would be prepared to take action over pay and ongoing pension issues.

Firefighters have accepted a pay offer aimed at averting strike action, with a union leader hailing the deal as a "testament to the power of collective action".

A revised offer was made in February to the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), consisting of a 7% pay rise backdated to last July and a further 5% from July this year.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...