25 October 2012

Strike tomorrow

Latest update from First

We are incredibly disappointed that despite efforts and last minute talks to resolve the current dispute with the Union representing drivers and engineers, the planned walk out of driving, engineering and some administrative staff on Friday 26 October is still going ahead.
The dispute is over pay. The walkout was planned despite a number of very good offers having been tabled by the company, as recently as Wednesday evening.
The action that the Union is taking will cause undue disruption to hardworking people in Devon and Cornwall, who rely on our services to get to work, education and leisure destinations. We deeply regret this but we are afraid that despite lengthy talks and a willingness to negotiate on behalf of the company, an agreement has not been reached.
In this current economic climate we believe this action is very selfish. With many people out of work and other facing pay freezes and tougher times, we are very disappointed that the Union representing our drivers and engineers has turned down a two year pay deal.
The offer that the union rejected was straightforward: it guaranteed staff a pay increase from 2 December along with a one off lump sum payment on the same date, and similarly offered them a further pay increase from April next year.
This deal added to what is an already generous pay and benefits package, which includes generous holiday entitlement, paid sick leave, access to contributory pension schemes, access to an employee assistance programme, access to Share Save and Buy As You Earn saving schemes, free bus travel for staff and their immediate families, reduced price train travel around the UK and access to other discounts at other high street stops and leisure destinations.
We would like to offer our sincere apologies to our customers who will be inconvenienced by the action that is taking place.
On Friday we will prioritise contracted school and college services in Cornwall and hope to run contracted services to Truro College, a shuttle bus service between Falmouth and the Tremough Campus and the Eden Rider service. We are also looking at whether it is possible to run any other tendered services on behalf of Cornwall Council. In Devon we hope to run services to Tavistock School and a reduced Park and Ride Service in Plymouth (with buses running circa every half an hour, rather than every 7 minutes on normal days). All other services are expected to be disrupted. Up to date details regarding the disruption will be communicated as soon as possible and throughout the day on Friday 26 October.
In light of the disruption, Customers who use our normal commercial services are advised to prepare for significant disruption on Friday and should consider finding alternative ways to make important journeys. Traveline, the organisation which provides independent travel advice, may be able to assist customers looking for information about alternative public transport options.
The company will do all it can to update its website, Facebook and Twitter pages as more information becomes available regarding the services that will operate on the day.

Website: www.firstgroup.com/devon

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FirstinDevonandCornwall

Twitter: @FirstBus_Devon

Customer Services: 0845 600 1420
Traveline South West: 0871 200 22 33 / www.travelinesw.com

1 comment:

  1. The majority of engineers are represented by Ammicus the union NOT the RMT so will not be going on strike. Out of the few engineers that are in the RMT only 1 will be on the picket line, all the rest have agreed to cross it. This is because the RMT haven't kept those engineers and body shop staff informed of industrial action and the only ways they found out about it is in the media, rumors and on websites like this one.


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