Drivers for National Express West Midlands win 16.2% pay rise in Unite victory

More than 3,100 bus drivers will benefit from the improved, inflation-busting pay offer

Unite the Union have secured a victory for bus drivers in the West Midlands who voted to accept an inflation-busting 16.2% pay rise.

Indefinite strike action was called off after National Express West Midlands put an offer on the table for a 16.2% uplift to drivers pay.

More than 3,100 National Express West Midlands bus drivers were balloted on the improved pay offer which also includes improvements to the drivers’ accident pay and hourly rates for Christmas holiday working.

Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham, called it an ‘important win’ for Unite members and that the union had left ‘no stone unturned’ to defend the workers’ pay.

“This is yet another example of how Unite’s relentless focus on improving jobs, pay and conditions results in real ‘money in the pockets’ of our members,” said Graham.

Average pay for bus workers at National Express West Midlands fell by 6% in real terms between 2018 and 2021, as a result of rocketing prices.

This is in contrast to the £2.6 million average annual salary of National Express CEO, according to Unite, with the company seeing its revenue increase by 29% last year, with operating profits more than doubling to almost £200 million.

Unite Lead National Officer, Onay Kasab, congratulated members for making a stand and winning.

He added: “Unite will continue to work, through our Bus Combine, to win double digit pay increases for our members.”

Last week, more than 200 National Express engineers voted to accept a separate pay deal, which will also benefit around 250 admin staff.

Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward

(Photo credit: Creative Commons / Flickr)

Left Foot Forward’s trade union reporting is supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust

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