NZ Bus has been advised by FIRST Union and the Tramways Union that drivers will be taking strike action from next week that will affect a number of routes.

There will be no service at all from the Glenfield, Swanson, and Onehunga Depots between 4am and 7am on Monday 2 December, as well as 2pm and 4pm on Thursday 5 December.

There will be no service at all from the City, Roskill and Panmure Depots between 4am and 7am on Tuesday 3 December, as well as 2pm and 4pm on Friday 6 December.

AT Metro services operated by NZ Bus will be affected during these times. With AT Metro services scheduled across all NZ Bus depots, the service impact will be felt across the service network.

As well as this, all NZ Bus drivers will not be collecting fares on any other services starting 4am on Monday 2 December and ending at 4.30am on Saturday 7 December.

NZ Bus CEO Barry Hinkley says he is disappointed that it has come to this.

“We are obviously very disappointed that this action is being taken after two meetings on pay discussions. We were in the process of negotiating when FIRST Union and Tramways gave notice of the strike action.

“Our door remains open for the unions to restart a dialogue to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.”

Some of the current claims made by the Unions include the following:

– An increase to pay rates of up to an extra $8 per hour – Double time paid for driving after midnight – Weekend work to be paid at time and a half – All meal breaks on straight shifts and broken shifts to be paid – Annual leave to be increased from 4 to 5 weeks

“The unions’ claims include an increase in hourly pay with meal breaks that would see drivers receiving a raise of nearly 45 per cent. While wage costs for weekend work would go up by over 100 per cent.”

“We are in communication with Auckland Transport to ensure that passengers understand the situation and we apologise to those affected by disruption. We would like to see this situation fixed as quickly as possible.

“It’s a big decision for staff to strike in the lead-up to Christmas. We’d encourage the unions to come back and negotiate so we can reach a deal,” says Mr Hinkley.