Arriva Northumbria drivers and engineers receive pay increase

Arriva Northumbria pay increaseMore than 300 workers employed by bus operator Arriva Northumbria have accepted a pay increase following an dispute over pay and conditions.

The drivers and engineers, who are members of trade union Unite and are based at the Blyth and Ashington depots, have secured a 6.1% increase from this month. They will also receive a £350 lump sum payment.

According to Unite, the pay increase matches the best pay in the region from a bus operating firm and was achieved after Arriva Northumbria resumed negotiations at the last minute.

The employees said they were unhappy and believed they were the lowest-paid bus employees in the region. They rejected a 4% rise and voted for industrial action, which was due to begin on Sunday 7 April for one week.

Following the new offer from Arriva, the strikes were suspended and members were balloted at the beginning of April.

An Arriva North East spokesperson said: “We’re pleased to have come to an agreement with Unite, which means industrial action will no longer take place. We are sure this will come as a relief to our customers and allows us to continue our efforts to recruit more drivers.”

Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, added: “Unite members at Arriva Northumbria should be congratulated on their hard-fought campaign that has seen them receive a significant and well-deserved pay increase.”

Dave Telford, regional officer at Unite, said: “The workers at Arriva will be heading to work with their heads held high after this excellent pay victory. Unite has refused to allow our drivers and engineers to be underpaid and this is a direct result of their determination to stand firm against their employer.”